WikiLeaks, Wimbledon and War
- Friday, 08 July 2011
An article on Julian Assange, the founder of the infamous whistler-blower website, Wikileaks, and the state of affairs (...No, not the country) by Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America.Wikileaks' rise was undeniably the biggest news story of 2010. Wikileaks makes a strong statement about the potential of the internet to speak truth to power and to open governments. Let's work together to keep it this way!
The State Department cables are being released over time, creating a steady stream of embarrassment for the U.S. government and inspiring outrage and protests globally, as the classified cables reveal the secret, cynical operations behind U.S. diplomacy. “Cablegate,” as the largest State Department document release in U.S. history has been dubbed, has been one of the sparks of the Arab Spring. People living under repressive regimes in Tunisia and Yemen, for example, knew their governments were corrupt and brutal. But to read the details, and see the extent of U.S. government support for these dictators, helped ignite a firestorm.
Likewise, thousands of Haiti-related cables analyzed by independent newspaper Haiti Liberte and The Nation magazine revealed extensive U.S. manipulation of the politics and the economy of that country (i.e. Obama administration’s post-earthquake denial of visas to 70,000 Haitians who had already been approved.) One series of cables details U.S. efforts to derail delivery of subsidized petroleum from Venezuela in order to protect the business interests of Chevron and ExxonMobil. Other cables show U.S. pressure to prevent an increase in Haiti’s minimum wage at the behest of U.S. apparel companies. This, in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
For his role as editor in chief of WikiLeaks, Assange has faced numerous threats, including calls for his assassination. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called him a “high-tech terrorist,” while Newt Gingrich said: “Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. ... He should be treated as an enemy combatant, and WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively.”
Indeed, efforts to shut down WikiLeaks to date have failed. Bank of America has reportedly hired several private intelligence firms to coordinate an attack on the organization, which is said to hold a large cache of documents revealing the bank’s potentially fraudulent activities. WikiLeaks has also just sued MasterCard and Visa, which have stopped processing credit-card donations to the website.
This video, released on June 16th 2011, commemorates 6 months of his house arrest.
Julian has not been charged with a crime in any country.
The extradition proceedings hold a deeper threat to Assange: He fears Sweden could then extradite him to the U.S. Given the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking many of the documents to WikiLeaks, he has good reason to be afraid. Manning has been kept in solitary confinement for close to a year, under conditions many say are tantamount to torture. No matter what happens to Assange, WikiLeaks has changed the world forever.
Julian Assange appeared in London last Saturday for a conversation with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, famously known for his discussion of toilets and geopolitics (we love Žižek!), moderated by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. They discussed the impact of WikiLeaks on world politics, the release of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and Cablegate — the largest trove of classified U.S. government records in history.
the full discussion is rather extensive - week end material people - TGI Friday!
To find out more, and to see how you can help, please visit swedenversusassange.com.