Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Venom Directed Towards Julian Assange And WikiLeaks Proves We Are Supposed To Know Nothing…Screw That!

The Venom Directed Towards Julian Assange And WikiLeaks Proves We Are Supposed To Know Nothing…Screw That!


"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"
- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"

Bill Quigley: Why Wikileaks is Good for Democracy

Wikileaks:  Armenia  Sent  Iran  Arms  Used  To  Kill  U.S.  Troops

State Expressed 'Deep Concerns'

Bottom of Form
U.S. diplomats concluded in late 2008 that the government of Armeniahad supplied Iran with rockets and machine guns later used to kill American troops in Iraq, according to State Department cables disclosed by WikiLeaks.
John D. Negroponte, deputy secretary of state at the time, wrote a December 2008 letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan expressing "deep concerns about Armenia's transfer of arms to Iran which resulted in the death and injury of U.S. soldiers in Iraq."
The cable, based on U.S. intelligence, includes the text of a classified letter labeled "secret" from Mr. Negroponte. It says "in 2007 some of these weapons were recovered from two Shia militant attacks in which aU.S. soldier was killed and six others were injured in Iraq."
The disclosure of the re-export of arms by Armenia is one example of how the leaked archive of U.S. diplomatic traffic totaling more than 250,000 reports reveals an extensive U.S. government effort to stop allies and adversaries alike from arming Iran with even conventional weapons.
In Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that the documents made public by WikiLeaks is part of a campaign by the CIAand the Israeli Mossad. While many cables showed heads of Arab states urging the United States to take military action against IranMr. Ahmadinejad dismissed them as propaganda. "The countries in the region are like friends and brothers," he said. "These acts of mischief will not affect their relations."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Washington that the leaks will not affect U.S. relationships with allies. Yet she also said that the disclosures would endanger people in closed societies who had spoken with U.S. diplomats.
"There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people, and there is nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends," Mrs. Clinton said.
Mrs. Clinton said WikiLeaks acted illegally in posting the classified document and that the Obama administration is taking "aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information."
At the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said thegovernment had launched a criminal probe, while Pentagon officials said security is being tightened to better control digital storage devices such as CDs and flash drives.
The Armenian incident was part of a wider U.S. effort to block Iran's access to the global arms and weapons technology market. For example, a 2010 cable revealed covert U.S. efforts to persuade China's government to block a sale from a Malaysian firm, Electronics Component Ltd., to sell gyroscopes to an Iranian front company.
The cables also show U.S. diplomatic efforts to stop German sales of high-technology equipment to Iranian front companies and block conventional arms sales from Turkey to Iran. Both countries are NATO allies.
In some cases though, the cables show the inefficacy of the American effort. North Korea, according to one cable in 2007, successfully shipped missile components to Iran despite U.S. efforts to seek Chinese help in blocking the transfer.
"This shows the breadth of the U.S. effort to quietly shut down all the various spigots and channels that the United States was using to bleed the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Kenneth Katzman, anIran specialist at the Congressional Research Service. "We have seen a recent example in Nigeria of arms pipelines being exposed, these cables show more of a sweep to it than most Americans were aware of, which is usually limited to public discussion of U.N. sanctions votes."
Mr. Katzman said the worldwide U.S. effort reminded him of Operation Staunch in the 1980s. "It hearkens back to U.S. efforts during theIran-Iraq war to prevent conventional arms deliveries to Iran, which had a degree of success but was not a complete hermetic seal," he said.
The disclosures about Armenian government links to Iran arms supplies are surprising. Armenia has drawn closer to the United States in recent years as the United States has sought to quietly broker Armenia's disputes with Turkey and Azerbaijan.
A Western diplomat familiar with the incident said the United States had multiple streams of intelligence connecting the Armenian arms shipment to Iran with the deaths of U.S. soldiers in 2007 in Iraq.
When Mr. Sargsyan was first confronted with this intelligence in 2008 on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he denied knowing anything about the matter, the cable says.
Mr. Negroponte, however, lays out the consequences to Armenia in the letter.
"Notwithstanding the close relationship between our countries, neither the Administration nor the U.S. Congress can overlook this case," Mr. Negroponte said in his letter to the Armenian president.
"By law, the transfer of these weapons requires us to consider whether there is a basis for the imposition of U.S. sanctions. If sanctions are imposed, penalties could include the cutoff of U.S. assistance and certain export restrictions," he said.
After leveling the threat, Mr. Negroponte told Mr. Sargsyan that in order to avoid sanctions he had to provide a written assurance to the United States that Armenia would update its export-control laws, establish teams of customs specialists at the border to check for contraband and dual-use exports and allow U.S. spot inspections of these checkpoints and make public its export-control lists.
The Armenians appear to have agreed to these measures as the United States never leveled any sanctions against Mr. Sargsyan's government. The Armenian Embassy declined to comment for this article.
A December 2009 cable revealed that U.S. intelligence in June 2009 uncovered two Iranian front companies that offered to sell missile test equipment manufactured by the German firms Rohde & Schwarz and Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik (HBM) to Iran's main developer of liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group.
"We want to share this new information with German officials and encourage them to continue their efforts to prevent SHIG or other Iranian entities of proliferation concern from procuring sensitive items from Rohde & Schwarz and HBM," the cable said.
A March 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, stated that a network of Iranians had been identified in the Azerbaijani capital who were engaged in illicit activities.
"Some [of the Iranians] are also said to be significant actors in obtaining spare parts and equipment for the Revolutionary Guard, raising revenues and managing money for it and/or regime figures, or managing Iran-origin narcotics trafficking," the cable said.

by John V. Walsh, November 30, 2010

John Tyner triggered a wave of protest against the Transportation Security Administration when he recorded himself saying, “If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested,” pithily paraphrased as “Don’t touch my junk!” But this protest was anathema to the thought police at The Nation, because after all it is now Obama’s TSA, and the virtue of the Messiah’s works is not to be doubted. On top of that, Tyner is (gasp!) a self-declared libertarian.
A smear was in order, and so The Nation quickly served up an innuendo-laden piece attacking Tyner by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. And it has quite properly provoked a chorus of disapproval. Glenn Greenwald writing at Salon.com was first to criticize Ames and Levine, calling their smear of Tyner a shoddy, fact-free, and reckless hit piece.” Next up was Justin Raimondo, who chided Ames (“I spit on libertarians“) and Levine for their “implausible fiction.” Raimondo suggested a modicum of competence would serve them well and that if they wished to be “the ‘go to‘ team for the dirt on libertarians … they ought to learn their subject.” By now the critique of Ames and Levine’s trash must be turning into a cottage industry on the Web.

That is all to the good, but too many critics have excused the Ames-Levine smear as an aberration. Greenwald calls The Nation “a magazine which generally offers very good journalism,” actually faint praise, and another says she knows “the editors and many of the writers and have nothing but respect for their work.” She is correct about many of the writers, but unfortunately the editorial leadership does not deserve such respect. With the attack on Tyner, The Nation‘s editorial leadership overreached, leaving their dismal editorial policy too exposed to be ignored. The editorial leadership determines not only editorial positions but the politics of the articles printed or solicited – and therein lies the significance of the Tyner smear. Quite simply it fits in with the politics of the editorial leadership there. Certainly some of the writing in The Nation is of great merit, for example the perfectly paced prose of Alexander Cockburn’s invaluable “Beat the Devil,” which I suspect is tolerated simply because without it many subscriptions would vanish, along with considerable income. My sub would vanish for sure.

But the editorial policy of The Nation for a long time now has been slowly strangling the magazine. The underlying problem is that this once great journal has become a house organ for the Democratic Party. Nowhere is this more evident than in the editorial stance of The Nation on the wars in Iraq and Af-Pak, especially at the all-important moment to our politicians, election time. While the editorial problems atThe Nation affect virtually every issue of importance to its readers, let’s simply focus on the question of war and empire to see the nature of the fault.
In 2004, The Nation endorsed John Kerry on its cover despite the fact that he ran as a pro-war candidate. Ralph Nader was also turned into a non-person in the pages ofThe Nation for daring to run again as an independent. The unappealing and egotistical Kerry may have lost the election because of his pro-war position, as the polls shifted against the war in October 2004 to a near majority, too late for Kerry to make the switch. Had he taken on the war and opposed it, that shift might have turned into a majority against the war and Kerry might have been the victor.
Then came 2006, when the Dems promised impeachment hearings against Bush for his wars should they win control of the House. The Nation urged us to vote Democratic, but when the hearings did not materialize, silence fell over the magazine. John Conyers was the Democrats’ poster boy for the promise of impeachment, but after the election he folded at once. The much ballyhooed impeachment hearings never materialized, and Conyers slunk away.
In 2008, The Nation backed Obama, the candidate of the most “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party and of “Progressive” Democrats of America. The endorsement was proffered despite the fact that Obama was promising to step up the war in Afghanistan. When Obama won and the wars continued and military spending increased above Bush levels, The Nation went limp in its criticism of empire. Yes, there were exhortations to Obama to do the right thing, implying that he wants to do so, a proposition so lame at this point as to be comic, but never attacks like the well-deserved salvos fired at Bush for the very same policies on war and civil liberties.
Principled voices on both Left and Right are necessary in this country if war and empire are to be defeated. The Democrats are a party of war, and the The Nationclaims to be a journal of peace. The two cannot be reconciled. Regrettably, under the current editorial leadership at The Nation, party has been chosen over principle. When will the subscribers to The Nation and those of its writers who remain true to principle revolt and install new editorial leadership? On its present course The Nation is doomed to sink into irrelevance, eliminating it as a platform for the worthwhile voices that manage to survive on its pages. A mutiny is long overdue.
Bank of America is down over 1.7% right now, far underperforming the rest of the banking sector, as fears spread that it's the target of a forthcoming Wikileak.
Last night the news broke that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said the next leak would be a bank, and today it was discovered that in 2009 he said he had 5GB of data on the bank. Ominously in the interview he warned that new revelations could take down a bank.
By comparison, Citigroup is up 1.8%, and Wells Fargo is flat right now.

Is the target of the Wikileaks "Big Bank" exposé going to be Bank of America?
As the Huffington Post points out, Julian Assange talked about BofA last year in an interview with Computer World, claiming "he had acquired a large cache of information from Bank of America."
He specified that he has 5GB of material on the company.
In the interview Assange said:
"At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive's hard drives. Now how do we present that? It's a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it."
Yesterday, a Forbes interview revealed that early next year, Assange will drop a trove of documents that could take down "one or two banks."
He confirmed that the information comes from a U.S bank.
Speculation that BofA is the bank in question is not unexpected, especially in the wake of the robo-signing scandal, which exposed an uncontrolled, often messy operation within the bank's finance and mortgage divisions.
At the same time, if he's been sitting on this treasure trove of damning evidence - why hasn't he released it already?
Assange told Forbes that the Big Bank leak will include thousands of internal documents, which have "an overlap between corporate and government leaks."
In typical Assange fashion, he emphasized the information "will be exposed on Wikileaks.org with no polite requests for executives’ response or other forewarnings. The data dump will lay bare the finance firm’s secrets on the Web for every customer, every competitor, every regulator to examine and pass judgment on."

WikiLeaks: Saudi King: Use Force to Surgically Implant Microchips in Guantanamo Detainees 28 Nov 2010 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told a senior White House official to consider surgically implanting homing devices under Guantanamo Bay detainees’ skin. That’s one of the many potentially embarrassing comments from diplomatic back rooms now being made public by WikiLeaks. During a March 2009 meeting with John Brennan, President Obama’s closest counterterrorism adviser, Abdullah proposed shooting electronic chips into the residual Guantanamo population, "allowing their movements to be tracked with Bluetooth." Abdullah appears to have come up with the idea on the fly during their meeting -- "I’ve just thought of something," the cable quotes him saying -- and considered forced subcutaneous chip implantation uncontroversial, since it’s already "done with horses and falcons." Brennan appears to have gingerly waved him off: "[H]orses don’t have good lawyers," he replied...

WikiLeaks on the Middle East
ROBERT DREYFUSS | Why, exactly, should the United States care if a collection of corrupt Arab rulers in oil-rich kingdoms want America (or Israel) to bomb Iran? 

The new cable dump includes a State Department directive to have diplomats spy on UN officials. The UN has been a playground for spies since its origin—but this recent order goes further than before.

200 Israeli War Criminals Better Hope for Palestinian Amnesty ...
A few days ago, British Chief of Defence Staff General Sir David Richards admitted that victory in Afghanistan is unachievable. In conventional war,” said ...

International Lawyers Debate U.S. Policy on International Criminal ...
By Jenna Greene
In Kampala, the U.S. delegation ”arrived very focused on definitional issues” related to aggression, said David Scheffer, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law who served as Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues from ...
The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times - http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/

The Stench Of The Police State At US Airports


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