wikileaks: roundup

Short version: NY Times editor reveals difficult dealings with Assange. Long version: Dealing With Julian Assange and the Secrets He Spilled. Even shorter: Seem to be personality clashes. That’s as may be — I’ve already discussed how Assange’s personality is pretty much irrelevant to all this. By extension, so is Bill Keller’s. It’s still pretty interesting reading.

Here is a fantastic article (of the sort I wish I’d written myself) that sums it up as best as I’ve seen in Can’t hide love for WikiLeaks by conservative Australian politician Ross Cameron:

Assange is forcing us to rethink our assumptions about how much protection the ordinary person needs from the truth. He is arguing that the democratic project was founded on the principles of transparency and trust but has been overtaken by a culture of secrecy and spin.

Assange has formed the view that the powerful institutions that guide our destiny will not change unless they are forced to change. He is playing what he calls ”the forced move” in chess, when there is no other move left to make.

Assange is committed to closing the gap between what our leaders say and what they mean by holding up a mirror and saying, ”this is what you look like in private”.

[…] This is a moment in history. I say the WikiLeaks horse has bolted because Assange represents something much bigger than WikiLeaks. For 1500 of the past 2000 years, knowledge was tightly held by a tiny elite who had access to higher learning. The invention of the printing press, and the explosion of literacy that followed the Reformation, saw that circle of knowledge expand rapidly.

The arrival of the internet, with its ability not just to reach a wider audience instantly, but to recruit millions of people to the task of collecting, correcting and disseminating knowledge (Wikipedia) has seen an irreversible shift and devolution in power.

You know what to do. Go read the whole thing. (I confess, “Sarah Palin is behaving like a screaming banshee on her way to a stoning” absolutely made me laugh out loud.)

CUNY Launches Drop Box for Local Leakers. Even the scale of Wikileaks clones can be modified as needed. On the other end of the spectrum, of course, is Wikileaks’ own bid for expansion: AP Interview:WikiLeaks seeking more media partners.

Pointed out by Greenwald — intriguing pair of articles: CNN Retracts Claims of Investigation into Manning’s Treatment by Quantico Commander and Marines Replace Commander in Charge of Detention of Bradley Manning, Accused WikiLeaker. Of course they say Averhart’s departure was not due to the inappropriate suicide watch dropped on Manning, but there’s nothing else they could possibly say about this. My hope is that the public pressure bearing on this is finally having some results. It’s beyond ridiculous that

Coombs [Manning’s lawyer] has been struggling with Manning’s confinement and trial status for months now. Because Manning is being held under such harsh conditions without having been charged, Coombs has tried all manner of legal recourse, including filing a motion for Manning’s release, a motion to dismiss the trial because of its slow start, and even a request for a speedy trial last week.

The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture in Geneva for the United Nations, received a complaint at the end of December from one of Manning’s supporters alleging conditions in the brig amount to torture, said a UN spokesperson. At the time of the complaint, Manning was under POI watch, which is only slightly harsh than suicide watch.

Manning remains on POI watch to this day.

The U.N. has begun investigating and could ask the United States to stop any violations it finds.

Between the U.N. and Amnesty International, the U.S. Military might finally start treating Manning (and other prisoners?) more humanely. More on Manning here: Tyranny American-Style: Pvt. Bradley Manning is a Hero of Our Age. Also Judge Napolitano on Bradley Manning and David House: “KGB-Like Government Tactics are Obsceneley[sic] Un-American” (this is Andrew Napolitano a former judge who works for Fox News now).

Al Jazeera’s full publication of the Palestine Papers. More analysis on Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit: WikiLeaks 2.0: Al Jazeera and the Future of Investigative Journalism.

Sure you can try to block websites. But as any geek knows: EC’s leak describes blocking as “challenging”, “costly” and ineffective

Visa continues to block payments to Wikileaks even though No proof WikiLeaks breaking law, inquiry finds. (An inquiry initiated at Visa’s request — one senses they are pulling a McCain here.)

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