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December 2, 2010

Wikileaks - Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government

Citizens For Legitimate Government ®

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WikiLeaks is exposing US foreign affairs in a dramatic fashion. It is revealing over 250,000 cables from US embassies worldwide to the State department and other classified documents. The consequences of this 'mega-scoop' will be very far reaching indeed.

Wikileaks: US pressured Spain over CIA rendition and Guantánamo torture --Leaked cables show Spanish officials and prosecutors shared information about investigations into US human rights abuses 30 Nov 2010 US officials tried to influence Spanish prosecutors and government officials to head off court investigations into Guantánamo Bay torture allegations, secret CIA "extraordinary rendition" flights and the killing of a Spanish journalist by US troops in Iraq, according to secret US diplomatic cables. Among their biggest worries were investigations pursued by the magistrate Baltasar Garzón, who US officials described as having "an anti-American streak".

WikiLeaks cables: Secret deal let US sidestep cluster bomb ban --Officials concealed from parliament how US is allowed to bring weapons on to British soil in defiance of treaty 01 Dec 2010 British and American officials colluded in a plan to hoodwink parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs, the Guardian can disclose. According to leaked US embassy dispatches, David Miliband, who was Britain's foreign secretary under Labour, approved the use of a loophole to manoeuvre around the ban and allow the US to keep the munitions on British territory. Unlike Britain, the US had refused to sign up to an international convention that bans the weapons because of the widespread injury they cause to civilians.

UK complicit in another citizen's torture --Lawyer: Conviction should be quashed because of UK's complicity in client's torture 01 Dec 2010 Rangzieb Ahmed, previously convicted of terrorism offences in the UK, has appealed and told judges that Britain was complicit in his torture abroad. Ahmed, 34, from Greater Manchester, says he was illegally imprisoned in Pakistan, beaten and had fingernails removed, the Court of Appeal heard. He had been convicted of being a member of 'al-Qaeda' and leading terrorism. Before his trial in the UK, he was held in Pakistan for more than a year. When Ahmed was arrested, US CIA agents visited him on the regular basis during his 13-month imprisonment, the Court of Appeal heard.

Germany asked U.S. to force settlement freeze on Israel, WikiLeaks cables show 01 Dec 2010 The WikiLeaks website exposé of the inner workings of American diplomacy continued Wednesday, with revelations that Berlin pushed for the U.S. to impose a settlement freeze on Israel. According to a telegram published by the whistleblowing website, two weeks before Israel's inner cabinet decided on a settlement construction freeze in November 2009, a senior German government official urged the United States to threaten Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that if he did not agree to a moratorium, Washington would withdraw its support for blocking a vote on the Goldstone Report at the United Nations Security Council.

Interpol Issues 'Red Notice' for WikiLeaks Founder 01 Dec 2010 Interpol has placed the founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing Web site on a so-called red notice wanted list following allegations of sexual misbehavior by a Swedish prosecutor, according to the police organization’s Web site on Wednesday. The notice said Mr. Assange was wanted for “sex crimes” on an arrest warrant brought by the international public prosecution office in Gothenburg, Sweden. Interpol is based in Lyon, France.

Interpol puts Assange on most-wanted list 30 Nov 2010 Interpol, at the request of a Swedish court looking into alleged sex crimes from earlier this year, has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted list. The Stockholm Criminal Court two weeks ago issued an international arrest warrant for Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force in August incidents. Sweden asked Interpol, the international police organization, to post a "Red Notice" after a judge approved a motion to bring him into custody.

WikiLeaks cables: US espionage law 01 Dec 2010 The US Espionage Act is a little-used law dating from 1911 – the same year as the UK's Official Secrets Act, with which it has much in common. The current law can be used to prosecute those who leak and publish classified information that creates a national security risk. Although insiders who have leaked sensitive information have been prosecuted under the law, cases have rarely resulted in convictions. However, if charges are made against Julian Assange under the law in the US, then he would face extradition under the controversial UK-US extradition treaty, which provides special measures for extraditions between the two countries.

WikiLeaks is threatening national security, says Downing Street 29 Nov 2010 The leak of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks is damaging to national security, Downing Street said today. David Cameron’s officials have been briefed personally by the United States ambassador to London as No10 braces for further embarrassing revelations from WikiLeaks throughout this week... However, No10 stopped short of backing calls from US politicians to declare WikiLeaks a terrorist organisation.

Hunt WikiLeaks chief like Osama bin Laden: Sarah Palin demands Assange is treated like Al Qaeda terrorist 01 Dec 2010 Sarah Palin has demanded that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is hunted like Osama bin Laden. In an extraordinary outburst on Facebook, the former Alaska [half] governor attacked the White House. 'Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?' Palin claimed that the administration's inability to hunt Assange showed a lack of effort. It emerged today that the U.S. has opened a criminal investigation into whether the 39-year-old could be charged under its Espionage Act for releasing secret diplomatic documents. [Two words: Scooter Libby.]

Harper advisor calls for assassination of Wikileaks director Posted by looncanada 30 Nov 2010 In a shockingly flippant comment to a Canadian television news anchor Evan Solomon of the CBC News Network on live TV, Tom Flanagan, a senior advisor and strategist to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today called for the assassination of Wikileaks director Julian Assange.... Amazingly, although news anchor Solomon afforded Flanagan the opportunity to retract his statement, Flanagan balked at doing so and instead reiterated that U.S. President should put out a "contract" on Assange or use "a drone" and that he would not be unhappy if Assange "disappeared."

Ecuador president nixes Assange invitation 01 Dec 2010 Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Tuesday backtracked on an offer of residency to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, insisting no such invitation has been extended. "There has been no formal offer to the director of WikiLeaks," Correa told a news conference in the coastal city of Guayaquil. "That was a personal remark by the deputy foreign minister; he did not have my authorization."

US embassy cables: UN seeks answers from Washington --United Nations official says US order to diplomats to glean intelligence on UN leadership may breach international law 29 Nov 2010 The senior American diplomat at the UN tonight defended her team after WikiLeaks disclosed a US spying operation targeting the UN's secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and members of the security council. Susan Rice, the US ambassador appointed to the UN by Barack Obama last year, speaking after a meeting of the security council today, three times declined to deal directly with questions about the spying.

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Tells TIME: Hillary Clinton 'Should Resign' 30 Nov 2010 Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange said, "should resign." Speaking over Skype from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, the WikiLeaks founder was replying to a question by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel over the diplomatic-cable dump that Assange's organization loosed on the world this past weekend. Stengel had said the U.S. Secretary of State was looking like "the fall guy" in the ensuing controversy, and had asked whether her firing or resignation was an outcome that Assange wanted. "I don't think it would make much of a difference either way," Assange said. "But she should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up. Yes, she should resign over that."

WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton states WikiLeaks release is "an attack" 29 Nov 2010 Hillary Clinton said the release by WikiLeaks of confidential US documents is "an attack on the international community" on Monday, stating that she was determined to hold to account those who "stole" the documents. The US Secretary of State said she "deeply regrets" the release and attempted to reassure US allies around the world.

WikiLeaks website pulled by Amazon after US political pressure --Site hosting leaked US embassy cables is ousted from American servers as senator calls for boycott of WikiLeaks by companies 01 Dec 2010 The United States struck its first blow against WikiLeaks after Amazon.com pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in an apparent reaction to heavy political pressure. The main website and a sub-site devoted to the diplomatic documents were unavailable from the US and Europe on Wednesday, as Amazon servers refused to acknowledge requests for data. The plug was pulled as the influential senator and chairman of the homeland security committee, Joe Lieberman ('R'), called for a boycott of the site by US companies.

WikiLeaks Shelters in Amazon Servers 01 Dec 2010 WikiLeaks is using Amazon.com Inc. servers in the U.S. to help deliver leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, as the controversial website combats powerful Internet-based attacks. WikiLeaks said Tuesday it was the target of a computer attack that overwhelmed its website and made it inaccessible for a few hours to some users.

DoS attacks hammer WikiLeaks for second day running 30 Nov 2010 WikiLeaks, the focus of attention since it released a quarter-million U.S. diplomatic cables two days ago, is again under a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, Internet researchers said today. The site remained online with some short interruptions, however, as did a secondary site, cablegate.wikileaks.org, where nearly 300 U.S. State Department internal messages have been published thus far. [The attackers] have upped their game," said Craig Labovitz, chief scientist at Arbor Networks, a supplier of anti-DoS technology.

WikiLeaks 'Cablegate' Site Hit By Powerful Cyber-Attack 30 Nov 2010  The WikiLeaks website said it came under a forceful Internet-based attack on Tuesday morning, making some of the content, including the controversial “Cablegate” documents, inaccessible for hours to users in the U.S. and Europe. The site appears to have responded by switching its main hosting base from Sweden to the U.S., making it available again. On Tuesday, traffic to the site went to Amazon.com Inc.’s server-for-rent service, based in the U.S.

WikiLeaks: family unable to see suspect Bradley Manning 30 Nov 2010 The family of Bradley Manning, a suspect in the passing of secret documents to WikiLeaks, have been unable to visit him in jail despite making the journey to America. Four members of Mr Manning’s family, including his mother, Susan, made the trip from Pembrokeshire in the past two weeks in the hope of seeing him, a friend said. But it is understood that a request to visit the 23-year-old soldier, who is being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia, was turned down.

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...

US government: Nosey Parker of the planet - WikiLeaks cable dump alerts Compiled by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 29 Nov 2010 *This page will be updated!* Check for updates as WikiLeaks dumps the cables!

WikiLeaks: Yemen covered up US drone strikes 28 Nov 2010 The Yemeni government covered up US drone strikes against 'al-Qaeda' there and claimed the bombs were its own, according to the WikiLeaks documents. Amid public distrust of the US in Yemen, officials in both countries have stated publicly that the Yemeni government is leading the fight against Islamist militants. ...According to a leaked document from January, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told Gen David Petraeus, then commander of US forces in the Middle East, that: "We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours." The conversation was reported in a diplomatic cable sent back to Washington by a US diplomat in Yemen.

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CLG Editor-in-Chief: Lori Price. Copyright © 2010, Citizens For Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved.

01 Dec 2010

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