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Intelligence, N. 570, 3 January 2011, p. 1
THE NEW DEPTHS OF GOVERNMENT RIDICULE
The old saying is that “ridicule can’t kill you”. With the case of Wikileaks and the arrest of its leader and founder, Julian Assange, it looks like ridicule can’t even keep GMO out of your food, liers out of government or “consensual sex” in the private domain.
Using the dictionary definition of “groupie” [“A groupie is a person who, while he/she may be a fan at some level, seeks intimacy (most often physical, sometimes emotional) with a famous person” <websters-online-dictionary.org>], we have two Swedish female groupies who acknowledge “consensual sex” with Assange but who then go to Swedish authorities to “seek justice” for “sex by surprise”, still claiming to be Wikileaks “fans” (1224 AP, Assange's accusers are WikiLeaks fans, lawyer says): “The two Swedish women accusing Julian Assange of sex crimes are supporters of WikiLeaks, not pawns of the CIA, and they simply seek justice for a violation of their ‘sexual integrity,’ their lawyer says.” But Swedish authorities who are handling the groupie’s complaint aren’t as pro-Wikileaks: 1215 Truthout/NYT, Swedish Prosecutor Raises Possible Extradition of WikiLeaks Founder to US. To avoid ridicule, these two female “fans” / “supporters” should help Wikileaks by getting Swedish authorities out of the equation and by asking to meet with Assange and other Wikileaks “supporters” to work things out and eventually ask Assange to explain himself or even apologize, if that is what other Wikileaks “supporters” think is appropriate. What is ridiculous is calling oneself a “fan” or “supporter”, and then permitting governmental authorities and Interpol to examine your “consensual sex” life.
As for politics, veteran observers know that ridicule doesn’t kill in politics, or at least not quickly. As we mentioned in our Timeline article above, US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has stated that the consequences of Wikileaks releases for US foreign policy were likely to be "fairly modest" (“WikiLeaks' Impact On Foreign Policy 'Fairly Modest' Gates Says”, <npr.org>). On 17 December, Vice President Joe Biden said he agreed (1217 Alternet/Raw Story, Biden on Wikileaks Cables - No "Substantive" Harm Done): “Take that, would-be Assange beheaders. Vice President Joe Biden told MSNBC yesterday that ultimately, the world can chill out a little bit, because the information in the Wikileaks cables isn't going to cause true damage to our relationships with foreign allies. Raw Story: ‘I don't think there is any substantive damage, no,’ Biden said, when asked about the WikiLeaks revelations. ‘Some of the cables that are coming out here and around the world are embarrassing,’ Biden said. ‘But nothing that I am aware of that goes to the essence of the relationship that will allow another nation to say “they lied to me, we don't trust them, they really are not dealing fairly with us”.’"
But one day later, ridicule made a serious incursion into Biden’s politics (1220 GUA, Julian Assange is a high-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden): “The US vice-president, Joe Biden, today likened the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to a ‘hi-tech terrorist’, the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration. ... His description of Assange shows a level of irritation that contrasts with more sanguine comments from other senior figures in the White House, who said the leak had not done serious damage. ... The interview, though broadcast yesterday, was conducted on Friday. In an interview the previous day, he had been more neutral about WikiLeaks, saying: ‘I don't think there's any substantive damage.’ The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, led criticism of the WikiLeaks revelations at the end of November when she accused the Web site of mounting an ‘attack’ on the world.”
Ridicule exposed by Wikileaks doesn’t even seem to have caused change in “the best government money can buy” in Washington which sees a “moral imperative” in secretly pressuring foreign governments to let US multinationals sell their “Frankenfood” abroad. And if you can get religious backing for the “moral imperative”, it’s even better (1229 Truthout, US to Vatican - Genetically Modified Food Is a "Moral Imperative"): “Secret United States diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks detail efforts to promote genetically modified (GM) crops and biotechnology across the globe, including the Vatican, where US diplomats pushed the Roman Catholic Church to support biotech food in developing nations. Cables from embassies in Spain, Austria and even Pakistan reveal the US diplomats have clearly sided with the [US-dominate] biotech industry, even as court cases and public debates over GM food raged in the US and abroad.” Siding with multinationals against public interest has been Washington policy for a long time, and current ridicule will probably not change that.
What is changing because of the Wikileaks releases is the subject of an article by Freedom of Information specialist, Roger Vleugels, in his journal, “Fringe Intelligence” (1215 Fringe, Freedom of information after Wikileaks, Roger Vleugels): “The most important aspects of the WikiLeaks cablegate exposures or disclosures have raised almost no attention till now. Let me name some: 1- Having said that in democracies governments of course have a legitimate right to use secret diplomatic policy, WikiLeaks shows that this secret diplomatic policy is not always in line with the official policies. So WikiLeaks reveals illegal and/or illegitimate aspects of governments. 2- The WikiLeaks disclosures will change in a crucial way views and practices on or about secrecy, classification, screening, information security systems, open government and even freedom of information. The most important till now not enough emphasized aspect, and the core topic of this article, is: 3- The WikiLeaks disclosures show that all the democratic watchdogs ... failed in their control duties to reach the level of the now by WikiLeaks docs.” In short, Wikileaks reveals the failure of democratic governments to police themselves and claims of “transparency” are simply propaganda.
Other recent Wikileaks reports include:
1210 Truthout/ACLU, US Courts - First Amendment Protects Independent Third Parties Who Publish Classified Information
1210 Truthout/GUA, Julian Assange's Lawyers Warn of Imminent US Charges
1211 CNN, WikiLeaks activists rally supporters in several nations: Pro-free-speech rallies are scheduled in several international cities Saturday to protest the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being held in a prison on the outskirts of London on suspicion of sex crimes.
1212 This Can't Be Happening, Something is Rotten - The Strange Case of Interpol's Red Alert on Assange, and the US Attack on WikiLeaks: Far be it from me to minimize the issue of rape, but to borrow from the Bard, in the case of the "rape" case being alleged against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (technically, Swedish prosecutors say it's not rape, it's "sex by surprise"), currently being held in a British jail without bail pending an extradition request from Stockholm: "Something is rotten in Sweden."
1212 USA Today, Obama tries to repair WikiLeaks damage: In phone calls Saturday to the leaders of Turkey and Mexico, Obama deplored the WikiLeaks release of once-secret diplomatic cables -- some of which contained criticism of those two nations, and others.
1213 VOA, WikiLeaks' Assange Is Hero to Some, Villain to Others: WikiLeaks' release of classified US government cables has angered politicians, emboldened free speech supporters and unleashed hackers onto Web sites of companies and individuals they believe oppose the site's founder, Julian Assange.
1214 VOA, WikiLeaks Founder Assange Granted Bail: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted bail by a British court. The bail was set at $315,000 (200,000 British Pounds).
1216 Alternet, Michael Moore in Hot Water for Suggesting Rape Allegations Against Assange Are "Hooey"
1216 Fringe/AP, Wikileaks war room - Revisited - WikiLeaks site poised to release documents - Comment by Roger Vleugels: In this 2 month old article information on the Information Review Task Force first presented to you in “Fringe Intelligence” No 218. I used there this official name and the alias used in the intelligence community: the WikiLeaks War Room. In that article less on the review task and some information on the counter-insurgency task of that WikiLeaks War Room.
1216 King Features, Pundits openly calling for Wikileaks founder's death have crossed a very dangerous line: If WikiLeaks is a criminal organization, what of its media partners, like the “New York Times”?
1216 VOA, WikiLeaks' Assange Freed on Bail in UK
1217 Alternet, Time magazine's placebo person of the year - Facebook's Zuckerberg instead of Wikileaks' Assange: WikiLeaks has, in the course of just a few months, turned the world of US policy and foreign relations upside down. What was “Time” thinking?
1217 GUA, Julian Assange - WikiLeaks faces "very aggressive" investigation by US: WikiLeaks faces a "very aggressive" and secretive investigation by US authorities stung by a perceived loss of face following the release of thousands of secret American diplomatic cables, the organisation's founder, Julian Assange, said today.
1217 The Australian, Wikileaks / Australia - PM confirms finding by AFP: In an earlier statement, the Australian Federal Police said it had completed an evaluation of available material following the release of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables and had found no breaches of Australian law.
1218 Consortium, The witch hunt against Assange is turning into an extremely dangerous assault on journalism itself, Robert Parry: The Obama admin's reported plan to indict Julian Assange strikes at the heart of investigative journalism on national security scandals.
1218 Truthout, Bank of America Stops Handling WikiLeaks Payments
1219 Truthout, WikiLeaks Has the Goods on Bank of America, So Bank of America Helps to Try and Shut It Down
1220 Stephen Pitt, The Military-Industrial Complex Complains: Stephen Pitt's latest piece shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange caught between the wrath of Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut), chair of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
1220 Truthout, A Holiday Sampler of What WikiLeaks Reveals About the US: Human rights advocates have significant new sources of information to hold the United States accountable. The transparency, which WikiLeaks has brought about, unveils many cover-ups of injustices in US relations with Honduras, Spain, Thailand, UK and Yemen over issues of torture at Guantanamo, civilian casualties from drones and the war in Iraq.
1220 Truthout, An examination of the Interpol web site would lead one to believe that Sweden intentionally heightened the media frenzy around the sex charges against Juilan Assange as compared to similar sex charges against others: Now, what appears curious about this is that it is highly unlikely that US intelligence agencies did not know exactly where Assange was. Assange leaves a high-tech trail everywhere he goes, and the CIA has had him under the most intense tracking, one can assume, for some time. So, why then the need for a public "red alert" when Assange's whereabouts were almost certainly known? Because it helps tarnish him as a "fugitive" from justice and taints the revelations of WikiLeaks as a whole. It also hijacks what may or may not be valid sexual charges for international political purposes. Indeed, the Interpol news release was headlined: "Sweden authorizes Interpol to make public Red Notice for WikiLeaks founder." The headline does not even mention the name Julian Assange. It might as well be a red notice for WikiLeaks as an organization.
1221 CSM, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange issues threat and complains about ... leaks: In interviews published today, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange issued threats and lashed out at his collaborators, his rape accusers, and the Swedish government.
1221 Truthout/BuzzFlash, This proves that the Swedish involvement with Interpol was theater, not in anyway necessary to the investigation into the sex charges or the arrest of Assange: Whatever the outcome of the sex charge investigation, it is highly likely that the Swedish government is playing politics with the case at the behest of the US, and this is the worst fear of advocates of government transparency. Assange may or may not have violated Swedish law concerning his sexual relationships with two women, but there is a valid concern that his high-profile extradition from the UK would result in Sweden then extraditing him to the US. In that case, the investigation sought by the two women charging him with sex crimes would be ill served. Given that major papers in the US, including the "New York Times", have revealed that the Department of Justice is trying to find grounds to indict Assange as, essentially, a spy -- and that Bradley Manning is being held in harsh conditions to try and get him to implicate Assange as part of a conspiracy -- it is not reassuring to see how Sweden used Interpol as a PR stunt to damage the image of WikiLeaks. Not reassuring at all.
1221 WP, CIA's Wikileaks task force - CIA launches task force to assess impact of US cables' exposure by WikiLeaks: The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of US diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks. Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: WTF [An internet slang acronym for "What the fuck?”, <wikipedia.org/wiki/WTF>]. The irreverence is perhaps understandable for an agency that has been relatively unscathed by Wiki-Leaks. Only a handful of CIA files have surfaced on the WikiLeaks Web site, and records from other agencies posted online reveal remarkably little about CIA employees or operations. Even so, CIA officials said the agency is conducting an extensive inventory of the classified information, which is routinely distributed on a dozen or more networks that connect agency employees around the world.
1222 AFP, Comedians bowled over by Assange's rap role: The creators of Australian Internet hit "Rap News" on Wednesday said they were still "pinching themselves" after controversial and reclusive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in a cameo role. University researcher Giordano Nanni and English teacher Hugo Farrant, whose political satire set to hip hop has achieved cult status on YouTube, said Assange contacted them and invited them to London to film the six-minute skit.
1222 Alternet, Watch Assange Interview - "Europeans Are Starting to Wonder ... Does America Obey the Rule of Law?"
1222 GUA, Julian Assange defends decision not to face questioning in Sweden: WikiLeaks founder says he is not obliged to return to be questioned over sexual assault allegations.
1223 Truthout, Exclusive Julian Assange Interview With Cenk Uygur: Cenk Uygur (host of the Young Turks) interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show." They discussed critics of Assange, the treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning and more.
1225 Press TV, WikiLeaks founder fears US may kill him
1226 RIA, WikiLeaks founder signs $1.5 mln autobiography deal: The founder of the whistle blowing Web site WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has signed $1.5 million contracts with publishers to pen his autobiography, the “Sunday Times” said.
1227 CNET, Assange penning autobiography to pay legal bills: Faced with mounting legal bills, Julian Assange has agreed to a $1.5 million deal to write his autobiography. "I don't want to write this book, but I have to," the controversial WikiLeaks founder told Britain's “Sunday Times” yesterday.
1228 Raw Story, Wired Magazine Slammed for Withholding Chat Logs That Could Prove Assange and Bradley Manning Did Not Conspire: In his Monday column, Salon's Glenn Greenwald called Wired's actions "one of the worst journalistic disgraces of the year." By his own admission, “Wired” magazine senior editor Kevin Poulsen is withholding a large majority of chat logs that could prove WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange did or did not conspire with the US soldier accused of leaking a cache of diplomatic cables.
1229 Forbes, Forbes, Wikileaks and the bank disclosures: WikiLeaks And The New Corporate Disclosure Crisis - Stephanie Nora White and Rebecca Theim: "If the scandals that have plagued corporate America in the past two years haven't gotten you thinking about your own company's vulnerabilities, then the latest revelations out of WikiLeaks certainly should. In an interview with Forbes' Andy Greenberg, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange declared that half the documents that have been fed to the organization are from corporations, and that sometime early next year his organization plans what presumably will be the first of many corporate disclosures.
1230 Aljazeera, Why corporate capital and finance are waging an all-out cyber war against Wikileaks, Mark Levine: The continuing assault by the corporate sector to undermine the most ambitious whistle blowing project in modern history has major political implications.
INTELLIGENCE ISSN 1245-2122
N. 570, 3 January 2011
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TABLE OF CONTENTS, N. 570, 3 January 2011
WIKILEAKS - THE NEW DEPTHS OF GOVERNMENT RIDICULE p.1
TECHNOLOGY AND TECHNIQUES
TIMELINE FROM 10 DECEMBER TO 31 DECEMBER p.2
INDEX OF 2010 "INTELLIGENCE" ARTICLES (N. 550-569) p.3
TECHNOLOGY NEWS & REPORTS p.4
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS & REPORTS p.5
ECONOMICS – “Free Market” Secret Central Committee. p.6
USA - BRADLEY MANNING p.7
RUSSIA - MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY p.8
CALLS & COMING EVENTS THROUGH 19 FEBRUARY p.9
INTELLIGENCE AROUND THE WORLD
USA - REPORTS SHOW AGAIN FBI “OVER DOING IT” p.10
- START, DREAM & ARIZONA’S ENFORCED IGNORANCE p.11
- NO TO POLISH TORTURE INVESTIGATION p.12
- MORE CIA SECRETS REVEALED p.13
- THE POST-MIDTERM RADICAL RIGHT p.14
- "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repealed. p.15
CANADA - Communications Security Establishment. p.16
WESTERN EUROPE - SWEDEN/DENMARK, ITALY & OTHERS p.17
EASTERN EUROPE - RUSSIA, START, BELARUS & UK SPIES p.18
LATIN AMERICA - MEXICO, VENEZUELA & BRAZIL p.19
AFRICA - IVORY COAST, KENYA, ZIMBABWE & SUDAN p.20
ISRAEL/PALESTINE - RACISM, WAR, VIOLENCE & STATE-BUILDING p.21
IRAQ – New Government But Continued Violence. p.22
IRAN - UNSTABLE TIES WITH SANCTIONS p.23
MIDDLE EAST - LEBANON, TURKEY & IRAN p.24
AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN - GETTING TOUGH WITH THE ISI IS DANGEROUS p.25
ASIA - KOREAS, CHINA, INDIA & OTHERS p.26
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