Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Just some interesting links regarding Wikileaks. (This post is occasionally updated, both for content and formatting. I switched the format so the most recent is at the top so that one might know if updates have occurred).

(26) US military forces engaged in a heinous war crime, executing a handcuffed family, including the mother and infant children. Subsequently the home where the crime occurred was bombed by US forces, presumably to cover up the crime.

(25) The Obama administration intervened to prevent Haitians from increasing their minimum wage from 26 cents/hr to 71 cents/hr. This action was on behalf of contractors for Hanes and Levi-Strauss.

(24) Israel's aim with the Gaza blockade is to keep Gaza "functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis." This according to leaked Wilileaks cables. This is not entirely new information. For instance Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said in 2006 that the goal was to put Palestinians on a diet. This behavior is part of a strategy that has been in place for a while. Moshe Dayan was Israel's Minister of Defense in 1967. After the war he said that the Palestinians should be told "that we have no solution, that you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wants to can leave -- and we will see where this process leads... In five years we may have 200,000 less people -- and that is a matter of enormous importance."

(23) President Zardari of Pakistan publicly condemns the devastating US drone strikes in Pakistan, which almost exclusively kill innocent civilians. In private meetings though with US officials he approves of them and admits plans to offer faux protest at the National Assembly. "I don't care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We'll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it," he told US officials.

(22) US diplomats basically act like marketing agents for Boeing in their efforts to boost sales against their rival, Airbus. Fascinating details in the NY Times here. King Abdullah clearly hints that his country would be very interested to purchase from Boeing rather than Airbus and oh, by the way, if the King's private jet were to be outfitted much like Air Force One that would be really cool. Yes, they have decided to purchase Boeing and yes, King Abdullah's plane is being upgraded. The details of the upgrade can't be revealed for security reasons.

(21) If you've seen the movie "The Kite Runner" you know that in Afghanistan there is a cultural behavior that amounts to rape of young boys. Typically the children are between the age of 5 and 15. The Taliban aggressively attempted to put it down, but with the Taliban out of power it's on the rise again, just as drug production is. We learned a year and a half ago from the Washington Post that DynCorp, which trains Afghan police and is under US contract, threw a party in Afghanistan "hired a teenage boy to perform a tribal dance". This was not the first time DynCorp has been involved in such things. Now thanks to Wikileaks we discover some behind the scenes info. When an Afghan diplomat discovered that someone from the media was present during the dance he panicked and contacted the US embassy. He wanted to communicate to the journalist that publishing the story would "endanger lives." Instead the diplomats urged that nothing be done in order to prevent the story from becoming a big deal. As the guardian notes, the strategy appears to have worked, culminating in the Washington Post story, which was largely a whitewash. The headline is "Amid Review, DynCorp Bolsters Ethics Practices." The Afghan diplomat that attempted to suppress the story resigned back in June.

(20) Shell Oil has a strong grip on Nigerian government.

(19) President Saleh of Yemen told General Patreaus that he would lie to the people of Yemen and tell them that the bombs falling on them in fact were from his government, not from the United States. He is trying to create the impression that he is not a US lackey. Not only did Saleh lie to Yemeni's but the State Department lied to Americans as well as Greenwald documents.

(18) Cables reveal an extensive war being conducted in Pakistan despite denials by Pentagon officials.

(17) Drug giant Pfizer was accused of having performed fatal drug testing on Nigerian children and in response appears to have initiated a smear campaign against the Nigerian attorney general in an effort to get him to drop the charges or reduce the penalties.

(16) More information on the coup in Honduras here.

(15) Wikileaks published many works related to Scientology. Scientology responded angrily and tried to compel Wikileaks to remove the information. Wikileaks replied by posting additional information.

(14) The US and China joined forces against Europe to undermine any effective climate change treaties.

(13) Exposure of corruption by oil magnates in Peru has lead to the resignation of Peru's Prime Minister.

(12) Documents related to Kaupthing Bank in Iceland have revealed massive loans on behalf of the bank's owners just prior to the collapse. These revelations may lead to criminal prosecutions. In response Iceland has enacted laws to protect journalists attempting to expose corruption.

(11) Massive corruption in Kenya. The exposure has made a huge difference which was reflected in a subsequent election.

(10) Last year's cyber attack on Google from China may have been directed by a senior member of the Chinese politburo that googled his name and was outraged to find articles that were critical of him.

The following 9 are quoted via Greenwald:

the U.S. military formally adopted a policy of turning a blind eye to systematic, pervasive torture and other abuses by Iraqi forces;

(8) the State Department threatened Germany not to criminally investigate the CIA's kidnapping of one of its citizens who turned out to be completely innocent;

(7) the State Department under Bush and Obama applied continuous pressure on the Spanish Government to suppress investigations of the CIA's torture of its citizens and the 2003 killing of a Spanish photojournalist when the U.S. military fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad (see The Philadelphia Inquirer's Will Bunch today about this: "The day Barack Obama Lied to me");

(6) the British Government privately promised to shield Bush officials from embarrassment as part of its Iraq War "investigation";

(5) there were at least 15,000 people killed in Iraq that were previously uncounted;

(4) "American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world" about the Iraq war as it was prosecuted, a conclusion the Post's own former Baghdad Bureau Chief wrote was proven by the WikiLeaks documents;

(3) the U.S.'s own Ambassador concluded that the July, 2009 removal of the Honduran President was illegal -- a coup -- but the State Department did not want to conclude that and thus ignored it until it was too late to matter;

(2) U.S. and British officials colluded to allow the U.S. to keep cluster bombs on British soil even though Britain had signed the treaty banning such weapons, and,

(1) Hillary Clinton's State Department ordered diplomats to collect passwords, emails, and biometric data on U.N. and other foreign officials, almost certainly in violation of the Vienna Treaty of 1961.


Dave Armstrong said...

Typo . . .

It's not a crime to release classified information having to do with national security?!! Huh? What are you, an anarchist? :-)

Jon said...

What Bradley Manning did is a crime. What Assange did is not a crime. It's only a crime to disclose classified information if you have a security clearance. If you come in to possession of secret information but don't have a security clearance you aren't obligated to keep it confidential.

These recent disclosures by Wikileaks in fact were first published by the NY Times. So if what Wikileaks did was a crime what the NY Times did would also be a crime.

HispanicPundit said...

For the record, even though I am undecided on whether Wikileaks is a net good or net bad (and currently, I am leaning towards the bad argument) I do think that what the US is doing with Assange is troublesome.

Like it or not, this SHOULD fall within the United States first ammendment laws (remember those laws Jon? Wasn't it you who just a few months ago said they might not be all that beneficial???).

In other words, you can get mad all you want but he shouldn't be TRIED. Maybe the person who leaked them should, or if he tried to sell them to an enemy country...but not for simply publishing them. In that sense he is really no different than the media.

With that said, I do think that most of the media and government officials are after him not necessarily because of some grand conspiracy to keep the country in favor of Israel, or any other such nonsense. But a simple belief that this does harm our foreign policy initiatives. And being that were currently at war in two countries, this is a top concern. And rightfully should be.

But it should be a moral outrage...not a legal one.

Jon said...

You keep talking about conspiracies as if someone has alleged a grand conspiracy. Is that being directed at me or someone else? I don't see the relevance.