Posts Tagged ‘attacks against Wikileaks and Assange’
15/aug/2012 by RussiaToday
If there’s one thing Assange’s story doesn’t lack – it’s plot twists. For every secret that the whistleblower shed light on – he found himself attracting a growing crowd of enemies, all more and more desperate to bring him down – from banks to governments, and even public figures openly calling for him to be killed.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
They may get him, but he’ll go down in history as a hero
by Justin Raimondo, July 06, 2012
If there was ever a clear cut case of good versus evil, then surely it is the contest between Julian Assange and most of the world’s governments. They hate him because he exposed their lies, their manipulations, and their routine violations of the most elementary rules of human decency. By publishing virtually the entire corpus of messages sent to and fro between Mordor Washington and their Nazgûl diplomats in the field, WikiLeaks has given us the true history of the world in modern times, or, at least, a good glimpse into its secret underside historians rarely uncover.
The release of the “Collateral Murder” video showing the shooting of journalists and innocents in Iraq by our cackling wise-cracking US military pilots was arguably the tipping point in the public relations battle, after which support for continued prosecution of the war even among the political elites dropped precipitously and never recovered. It was the 21st century equivalent of the infamous photo of a napalmed Vietnamese children running down a road, an icon of another unpopular and utterly immoral war. That’s why Bradley Manning, who probably supplied the video to WikiLeaks, has been held incommunicado for over a year, subjected to treatment the UN defines as torture. He will never get a fair trial in the US.
The US government would dearly love to get its hands on Assange: rumor has it a secret grand jury indictment has already been handed down. And they’ve devised a transparently brazen maneuver, which reeks of covert activities, in order to to get him: accusations of rape have been made by two Swedish “feminists,” at least one of which — a former Swedish consular official in Havana — has ties to Cuban dissidents with CIA connections. I told their story here, here, and here, and won’t go into the rather gruesome details of the “case” against Assange, except to note that the narrative his accusers are spinning reads like something out of a very bad spy thriller, the kind with a sleazy cover and a lurid title. In short, just the sort of thing some overpaid CIA bureaucrat — the kind who’s writing a novel in his spare time — might come up with.
Once the Swedes get their politically-correct hands on Assange, and subject him to a show “trial,” he’ll be extradited forthwith to the US, where his lawyers claim he’s likely to be locked up in Guantanamo. Assange has wisely chosen not to surrender to British authorities — who have been a key cog in the frame-up machine all along — and has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, seeking political asylum in that country.
Ecuador is already being threatened with all sorts of retaliation by US government insiders and their patsies, and the pressure is on: if Correa grants Assange asylum, expect the Ecuadorian President to be routinely likened to Hugo Chavez, who no doubt has more than one US covert operation aimed at destabilizing his rule, although cancer may get him before Washington does. With Chavez about to go, the War Party will need a quick LAV (Latin American Villain) replacement, and Correa — who was interviewed by Assange in his last broadcast for “Russia Today” — fits the bill.
Granting the asylum request would be a purely symbolic gesture, and a futile one, as President Correa doubtless knows. Ecuador’s London embassy is surely the last stop in Assange’s nomadic wanderings: I for one predict he’ll never get off British soil. The moment he leaves the embassy and tries to board a plane he’ll be apprehended and hauled off to Sweden, and — after the “legal” preliminaries — promptly remanded to US custody. The US and its allies care nothing for diplomatic amenities, legal norms, or international law: they’ll brush the Ecuadorians aside so rudely and brazenly it’ll make Rafael Correa’s head spin.
After all, as Assange and WikiLeaks have revealed, these are the same people who wantonly executed Iraqi children by shooting them in the head, unleashed a killing squad in Afghanistan, and spied on UN diplomats on orders from Hillary Clinton. They are hardly above muscling the Ecuadorians aside and simply seizing him.
The legal and military firepower of three Western powers, the editorial boards of practically every major Western newspaper, all the big-time opinionators and would-be opinion “leaders” — a mighty assemblage is arrayed against this one man and his tiny under-funded organization. His very existence is a “security threat” to their corrupt and secretive regimes, and there was no way he was going to escape his fate. I think he knew that before he undertook his quest — and a quest it is, for knowledge, for real history, for redemption through technology. These causes are inextricably bound up with his personal fate, and the public response to it.
At this point, it would take someone like Ragnar Danneskjold or the Scarlet Pimpernel to guarantee Assange’s personal safety. In short, his fate as a martyr to the cause of a free society and a free internet is sealed. Yet the cause he is sacrificing his freedom to is far from defeated: indeed, the story of the persecution and pursuit of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks organization, when it comes out — and it will — is going to expose how the Smear Brigade works behind the scenes, and how deeply the tentacles of government reach into our supposedly “free” media.
This whole revolting episode is made doubly disgusting by the sickening role the “mainstream” media has played in all this: they are a Greek chorus to their masters in Washington and London, hurling every epithet in the book at the WikiLeaks founder. Their particular hatred for Assange is clearly motivated by the good job he’s done in showing them up for the servile hacks they are and always have been: he’s done more real journalism than they’ve done in their entire combined careers. While they are safely “embedded” in the governmental womb, from where they do their “reporting” on America’s wars, Assange did the kind of digging they never knew how to do and wouldn’t ever have the nerve to do. Reduced to the role of court — as in royal court — stenographers, these frauds are nearly united in their condemnation of Assange, passing along uncritically the Smear Brigade’s narrative of Assange-the-traitor-pervert.
The British media has been the worst — people like this, and this, are the scum of the earth — but the Americans haven’t been that far behind. Assange has few defenders on the Sunday morning talking heads parade, and that’s because the “mainstream” media is just another branch of government, for all intents and purposes. They socialize with the officials they’re supposed to be covering, and they all belong to the same elite Washington-New York set: they go to the same parties, their kids go to the same schools, and it’s all very cozy. That’s what being part of a ruling class is all about — and this one is particularly self-conscious about exercising its prerogatives, and ruthlessly punishing outsiders who dare disobey The Rules.
Rule Number One is: never cross your source. And since the chief sources these “journalists” have are government officials, ex-government officials, or wannabe government officials, they can be counted on to be loyal servitors of power. Aside from those “journalists” directly on the government’s payroll — and don’t be naïve, there are more than a few — that’s one reason why the journalistic pack has been barking at Assange’s heels ever since he rose to prominence. Rather than ferreting out government secrets, the “mainstream” media in the English-speaking world see their role as mediators between the truth and government-created fiction. That’s the exact opposite of what a real journalist is supposed to do — but what do you expect when you’ve fallen into an inter-dimensional warp and find yourself in Bizarro World?
10 March 2012
War by media, says current military doctrine, is as important as the battlefield. This is because the real enemy is the public at home, whose manipulation and deception are essential for starting an unpopular colonial war. Like the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attacks on Iran and Syria require a steady drip-effect on readers’ and viewers’ consciousness. This is the essence of a propaganda that rarely speaks its name.
To the chagrin of many in authority and the media, WikiLeaks has torn down the facade behind which rapacious western power and journalism collude. This was an enduring taboo; the BBC could claim impartiality and expect people to believe it. Today, war by media is increasingly understood by the public, as is the trial by media of WikiLeaks’ founder, and editor Julian Assange.
Assange will soon know if the Supreme Court in London is to allow his appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual misconduct most of which were dismissed by a senior prosecutor in Stockholm and do not constitute a crime in Britain. On bail for 16 months, tagged and effectively under house arrest, he has been charged with nothing. His “crime” has been an epic form of investigative journalism: revealing to millions of people the lies and machinations of their politicians and officials and the barbarism of criminal war conducted in their name. For this, as the American historian William Blum points out, “dozens of members of the American media and public officials have called for [his] execution or assassination”. If he is passed from Sweden to the US, an orange jump suit, shackles and a fabricated unconstitutional indictment await him. And there go all who dare challenge rogue America.
In Britain, Assange’s trial by media has been a campaign of character assassination, often cowardly and inhuman, reeking of jealousy of the courageous outsider, while books of perfidious hearsay have been published, movie deals struck and media careers launched or resuscitated on the assumption that he is too poor to sue. In Sweden, this trial by media has become, according to one observer there, “a full-on mobbing campaign with the victim denied a voice”. For more than 18 months, the salacious Expressen, Sweden’s equivalent of the Sun, has been fed the ingredients of a smear by Stockholm police.
Expressen is the megaphone of the Swedish right, including the Conservative Party which dominates the governing coalition. Its latest “scoop” is an unsubstantiated story about “the great WikiLeaks war against Sweden”. On 6 March, Expressen claimed, with no evidence, that WikiLeaks was running a conspiracy against Sweden and its foreign minister Carl Bildt. The pique is understandable. In a 2009 US embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks, the Swedish elite’s vaunted reputation for neutrality is exposed as sham. (Cable title: “Sweden puts neutrality in the Dustbin of History.”) Another US diplomatic cable reveals that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known” and unless kept secret “would open up the government to domestic criticism”.
Swedish foreign policy is largely controlled by Bildt, whose obeisance to the US goes back to his defence of the Vietnam war and includes his leading role in George W. Bush’s Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He retains close ties to Republican Party extreme right figures such as the disgraced Bush spin doctor, Karl Rove. It is known that his government has “informally” discussed Assange’s onward extradition to Washington, which has made its position clear. A secret Pentagon document describes US intelligence plans to destroy WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity” with “threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution”.
In much of the Swedish media, proper journalistic scepticism about the allegations against Assange is overwhelmed by a defensive jingoism, as if the nation’s honour is defiled by revelations about dodgy coppers and politicians, a universal breed. On Swedish Public TV “experts” debate not the country’s deepening militarist state, and its service to Nato and Washington, but the state of Assange’s mind and his “paranoia”. A headline in Tuesday’s Aftonbladet declared: “Assange’s moral collapse”. The article by Dan Josefsson suggests Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ alleged source, may not be sane and attacks Assange for not protecting Manning from himself. That the source was anonymous and no connection has been demonstrated between Assange and Manning and that Aftonbladet, WikiLeaks’ Swedish partner, had published the same leaks undeterred, was not mentioned – censorship by omission.
Ironically, this circus has performed under cover of some of the world’s most enlightened laws protecting journalists, which attracted Assange to Sweden in 2010 to establish a base for WikiLeaks. Should his extradition be allowed, and with Damocles swords of malice and a vengeful Washington hanging over his head, who will protect him and provide the justice to which we all have a right?
Antony Loewenstein – June 2nd, 2012
This week’s British Supreme Court decision over Julian Assange was yet another step in the farcical legal case against the Wikileaks publisher. Australian and American politicians have shown over the last years a disturbing desire to shut Wikileaks down. Let them try. They will fail.
There was a large rally in Sydney this week in support of justice for Assange. David Hicks spoke, along with many others. Here’s my speech, and I begin by reading a short statement by my friend Austin Mackell, a fine journalist currently trapped in Egypt (starts around 19.31)
As the contrast with the extradition case of Augusto Pinochet shows, it’s one law for whistleblowers, another for war criminals.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s protracted effort to fight extradition to Sweden suffered a body blow this week. Britain’s supreme court upheld the arrest warrant, issued in December 2010.
After the court announced its split 5-2 decision, the justices surprised many legal observers by granting Assange’s lawyers an opportunity to challenge their decision – the first such reconsideration since the high-profile British extradition case from more than a decade ago against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The decision came almost two years to the day after Private Bradley Manning was arrested in Iraq for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of classified US government documents to WikiLeaks.
The cases remind us that all too often whistleblowers suffer, while war criminals walk.
Assange has not been charged with any crime, yet he has been under house arrest in England for close to two years, ever since a European arrest warrant was issued by Sweden (importantly, by a prosecutor, not by a judge). Hoping to question Assange, the prosecutor issued the warrant for suspicion of rape, unlawful coercion and sexual molestation. Assange offered to meet the Swedish authorities in their embassy in London, or in Scotland Yard, but was refused.
Assange and his supporters allege that the warrant is part of an attempt by the US government to imprison him, or even execute him, and to shut down WikiLeaks. In April 2010, WikiLeaks released a US military video under the title Collateral Murder, with graphic images showing an Apache helicopter unit killing at least 12 Iraqi civilians, including a Reuters cameraman and his driver. In July 2010, WikiLeaks released the Afghan war diary, tens of thousands of secret US military communications that laid out the official record of the violent occupation of Afghanistan, the scale of civilian deaths and likely war crimes. The Swedish arrest warrant followed just weeks later.
So many public figures have called for Assange’s assassination that a website was created to catalogue the threats. Former Arkansas governor, presidential candidate and Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee said that, for Assange, “anything less than execution is too kind a penalty”. Prominent conservative Bill Kristol asked:
“Why can’t we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are?”
Death threats from rightwing ideologues are one thing. The main concern with an extradition to Sweden is that Assange will then be extradited to the United States. In another prominent document released by WikiLeaks, called the Global Intelligence Files, a portion of up to 5m emails were released from a private, global intelligence firm called Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas. The firm’s vice president for intelligence, Fred Burton, wrote in a 26 January 2011 email:
“Not for Pub – We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.”
If an indictment has been issued in secret, then Assange could find himself in US custody shortly after landing in Sweden. He could be charged with espionage (the Obama administration has already invoked the law more than all previous US administrations combined), and could be imprisoned for life or executed.
The United Kingdom carefully considers extradition requests, as famously demonstrated when crusading Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon hoped to prosecute former Chilean dictator Pinochet for torture committed under his rule from 1973 to 1990. Based on Garzon’s indictment, Pinochet was arrested in 1998 while travelling in London. After 16 months of hearings, the British courts finally decided that Pinochet could be extradited to Spain. The British government intervened, overruling the court, and allowed him to return to Chile.
Garzon is known for taking on global human rights cases under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, indicting Osama bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks and probing the abuse of US prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. When he began investigating abuses under the fascist government of general Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain for 40 years, Garzon became the target of the right in Spain and was disbarred in early 2012, effectively ending his legal career.
Judge Garzon and Julian Assange have taken on entrenched power, whether government, military or corporate. Bradley Manning stands accused of the same. In differing degrees, their lives have forever changed; their careers, their freedoms and their reputations were threatened or destroyed.
This week, Hillary Clinton will be the first US official to visit Sweden in years. Why? What role is the US government playing in Assange’s case? This week’s developments bear crucially on the public’s right to know, and why whistleblowers must be protected.
• Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column
© Amy Goodman 2012; distributed by King Features Syndicate
For twenty-one months a Grand Jury sitting in the Washington DC area has been meeting on a monthly basis, seeking to prosecute Julian Assange for espionage.
No judge or defense counsel is present at these proceedings. According to the global intelligence firm Stratfor, a sealed indictment against Assange was issued 18 months ago, in January 2011.
In connection with the case, individuals have been legally compelled to give evidence to the Grand Jury.
Google, Twitter, and other internet service providers have been issued secret court orders to divulge private information about WikiLeaks staff, volunteers and supporters.
Friends and supporters of WikiLeaks have been detained, searched and interrogated at airports, and attempts have been made to turn them into informants.
Please consult Alexa O’Brien’s timeline of US vs. Manning, Assange, WikiLeaks, and the Press for comprehensive information on the Grand Jury and associated matters.
Australia quietly changed its extradition law three months ago. An amendment passed in February makes it possible for someone to be extradited for minor offenses. This amendment weakens the security of all Australians, and facilitates Assange’s extradition from his home country, despite popular support for him there. There was no media reportage on the passage of this amendment.
Declassified Australian diplomatic cables reveal that Australian diplomats have raised no concerns over the possible extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. The Australian government asks only that it be forewarned, so as to coordinate a media response.1
The Australian government also passed the ‘WikiLeaks Amendment‘ in July 2011, broadening the powers of Australia’s ASIO intelligence agency to spy on Australian citizens and anyone associated with WikiLeaks.
At the behest of the US government, Prime Minister Julia Gillard instigated a federal investigation into whether criminal charges could be brought against Assange. Before it had been concluded that Assange has broken no laws, Gillard had already publicly called Assange’s actions “illegal” and stated that his passport may be cancelled.2
The Australian government has repeatedly delayed, censored and blocked Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for material that would reveal its internal legal deliberations over Assange’s extradition to the US and has refused to answer parliamentary questions about the extent of its co-operation.
It has given only cursory assistance regarding a highly irregular and politicized Swedish extradition request for Julian Assange under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system.
Please see SwedenVersusAssange’s Australia page for more comprehensive information on Australian complicity.
Assange has been detained under house arrest without charge for 539 days. If his May 30 Supreme Court challenge is successful, he is at risk of extradition to the US under the terms of a one-sided UK/US extradition treaty.
Long-promised reform of the UK’s extradition arrangements continue to be delayed, and this is despite the findings of two Parliamentary Select Committees that reform is urgent.
The US government is directly involved. A February FOI request revealed the involvement of Attorney General Eric Holder and other US officials in the Baker Review on UK extradition reform. The UK government has refused to publish the evidence on which the Baker Review based its findings. Other FOI requests specific to Julian Assange have been denied.
US Ambassador Louis Susman confirmed that the US would wait to see “how things work out in the British courts.” Mr Susman has been granted extraordinary access to directly address the UK Parliament and its Select Committees, arguing that reform of the UK/US extradition treaty is unnecessary.
On 8 December 2010 the Independent newspaper in the UK cited “diplomatic sources” confirming informal talks between Sweden and the US about extraditing Julian Assange.
The US/Sweden bilateral treaty has a “temporary surrender” clause which can be used for onward transfer to the US, circumventing the safeguards of a formal extradition.
Sweden was condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture in 2005 for its role in the extraordinary rendition of refugees to CIA black sites. Sweden has not refused a US request for extradition since 2000.
The Swedish Prime Minister’s chief political adviser is Karl Rove, infamous for coordinating smear campaigns while he was George Bush’s adviser. Rove is an old associate of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was revealed as a US informant in a 1973 State Department cable published by WikiLeaks.
Senior Swedish political figures have made false and/or misleading public statements highly prejudicial to a fair trial for Julian Assange. These include Prime Minister Reinfeldt, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Sweden’s Prosecutor-General Anders Perklev, investigating prosecutor Marianne Ny and Justice Minister Beatrice Ask.
Justice Minister Ask visited US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington on 27 February 2012, but no statements outlining what was discussed have been issued.
IRREGULARITIES IN THE SWEDISH CASE
There are numerous concerns regarding the merits and lawfulness of the Swedish case against Assange, including:
• the two complainants to the case went to the police for advice about HIV tests. They did not wish to file a complaint. One complainant has stated she felt “railroaded” by police. On hearing that police were seeking Julian Assange for rape, she became upset and did not sign her statement;
• there have been unlawful and prejudicial disclosures to the media by police and the prosecution regarding the investigation. These have generated over 4 million websearch results linking ‘Assange’ and ‘rape,’ irreparably harming his
reputation and diminishing public support for WikiLeaks;
• after reviewing the police file, Senior Prosecutor Eva Finne found the rape allegation to be false: “I consider there are no grounds for suspecting he has committed rape”;
• there have been breaches of police procedures in the investigation of the allegations, in particular: complainant witness statements were not recorded and were later revised;
• the failure to disclose details of the allegations and the evidence in English;
• the apparent failure of the Prosecutor to consider exculpatory evidence, and the withholding of exculpatory evidence from the defense and the UK courts;
• the disproportionate behavior of the Prosecutor Marianne Ny in refusing voluntary offers for co-operation and refusing to make use of the normal methods of Mutual Legal Assistance for interviewing Assange – insisting instead on an international warrant which unduly restricts his liberty. The EAW and a public Interpol Red Notice were issued two days prior to WikiLeaks’ Cablegate publication;
• the pre-trial detention conditions – incommunicado in solitary confinement – sought by the Prosecutor prior to any decision whether to prosecute, and their lack of a time limit; and
• the prospect of a secret trial, which is customary under Swedish law.
Please consult SwedenVersusAssange’s “Prosecution page for comprehensive information on the irregularities in the Swedish case.”
Under the EAW system UK courts are unable to take any of the above into account. Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime. The Swedish extradition is for questioning as part of the preliminary investigation. Neither the UK Extradition Act 2003 nor the EU Framework Directive intended EAWs to be used in this manner. Julian Assange’s extradition under such circumstances will set dangerous precedents affecting basic justice across Europe, whereby extradition is possible from the UK without charge, without evidence, at the behest of any prosecutor anywhere in Europe and without proper judicial oversight.
FURTHER AGGRESSION AGAINST WIKILEAKS
Other related acts of aggression against WikiLeaks include:
• Leading active US politicians have called for the extrajudicial assassination of Julian Assange, including by drone strike. US senators have labelled our editor-in-chief a “high-tech terrorist” and “enemy combatant” engaged in “cyber warfare”.
• The setting up of a 120-strong US Pentagon team dedicated to “taking action” against WikiLeaks ahead of WikiLeaks’ release of the Iraq War Logs and Cablegate. Similar publicly declared FBI, CIA and US State Department Task Forces are also still in operation.
• Requests from US government figures that American banking corporations Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Western Union, and Bank of America impose an illegal financial blockade against the organization, blocking the ability of members of the public to make donations, thereby shutting off 95% of WikiLeaks’ funding. In December 2010 Paypal also froze 60,000 euros of WikiLeaks donations held by the Wau Holland charitable foundation. Two days later Swiss bank PostFinance froze Julian Assange’s account, containing 31,000 euros, used for WikiLeaks Staff Defence Funds. The WikiLeaks blockade has been condemned by both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression. In July 2011 WikiLeaks lodged a complaint about the financial blockade with the European Commission for infringement of EU Anti-Trust laws. We are still awaiting an answer, due by August 2012.
• The US government has also pressured internet providers to cease services to WikiLeaks.org. On 1 December 2010 Amazon removed WikiLeaks from their storage servers, and on 2 December the DNS service pointing to the Wikileaks.org domain was disrupted.
• WikiLeaks’ volunteers and associates have endured constant harassment, being detained at US border points, having their electronic devices seized and secret so-called 2703(d) orders issued for their Twitter records. The latter only came to light when Twitter challenged the injunction against letting individuals know their records were being turned over to federal authorities. It is not yet known how many other internet service providers received similar 2703(d) orders relating to WikiLeaks – so far, only Google and ISP Sonic.net have been confirmed.
By Wikileaks; May 29th, 2012 – Dissident Voice
Eric Holder, portrait of a man who matters – Part one: accusing Wikileaks
May 14, 2012 – by evablumdumontet
In the American administration, the attorney general is both the head of the Department of Justice and the chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. He is designated by the President of the United States and acts as his legal adviser. He also represents the US government in legal matters.
Back in December 2010, Eric Holder was the official figure designated to condemn Wikileaks’s actions and to announce the legal measures that would be taken against the organisation. He accused the organisation of putting “the safety of the American people at risk” and announced that the Department of Justice and the Pentagon were undertaking criminal investigations. When asked how he could prosecute Assange, because of the complexity and uniqueness of the case, he responded:
“Let me be very clear, it is not saber rattling. To the extent there are gaps in our laws we will move to close those gaps, which is not to say . . . that anybody at this point, because of their citizenship or their residence, is not a target or a subject of an investigation that’s on going.
Answering questions at a press conference he explained he had “authorized ‘significant’ actions aimed at prosecuting Wikileaks,” without explaining what they were. He added that the justice department was examining ways to stem the flow of leaked cables, a comment of particular significance, when one recalls that the banking blockade started at the same period.
Eric Holder also came forward regarding the attacks Anonymous organised to avenge Wikileaks. At a news conference he explained that he was looking into “those incidents” and said that he was “hopeful that the people responsible for the WikiLeaks disclosures of classified information will be brought to justice.” Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t shoot the messenger
The worldwide furore caused by WikiLeaks will be the subject of a public seminar by University of Adelaide law Associate Professor and online media expert Dr Melissa de Zwart on Monday 21 May.
“How is it that what is essentially a one-person organisation can have attracted such a level of hatred from the US Government in particular?” Dr de Zwart asks.
“What does the concerted effort to shut WikiLeaks down and to silence Julian Assange tell us about the effectiveness of the internet as a communications medium?”
Dr de Zwart will examine why public law has failed to silence WikiLeaks when the law of contract and the exercise of private regulation has been so successful.
“WikiLeaks is a new model of online news dissemination. Its structure, operations and motivations are little understood, despite the worldwide furore caused by the publication of a series of documents in the last two years.
“The fallout from the publication of WikiLeaks material has resulted in the withdrawal of service by numerous providers, including Amazon, Mastercard, VISA and Paypal. This has effectively limited WikiLeaks’ operations when more direct attacks have not,” Dr de Zwart said.
Her lecture will cover the legal and cultural context of the internet and why the small print should never be ignored.
The lecture will be held on Monday 21 May in the Moot Court, Adelaide Law School, Ligertwood Building at 5pm. To register go to www.law.adelaide.edu.au/events/lawweek/
To watch a video of Associate Professor Melissa de Zwark discussing her upcoming lecture, please visit the University of Adelaide’s YouTube page: http://youtu.be/2o2JEsZlDpE
Saturday, April 28, 2012
“A media conspiracy at both sides of the Atlantic”
Do Swedish journalists finds “inspiration” only in their ideological American and British counterparts or is it instead the case of an infuriated, compact opposition of their State or corporative employers against the irruption of WikiLeaks in the world of journalism? Or is it the coordinated action of a geopolitical design by the three countries involved in the “legal” case? Or both? Is this campaign serving of Sweden objectives of psychological warfare or just decoy manoeuvres to distract the Swedish people from issues such as the illegitimate arms deal with the Saudi Arabia dictatorship? And to which extent the Swedish Military-Intelligence affiliation by a stream of Swedish Journalists explain the compact implementation of such design?
RT: “The media that once praised Julian Assange, hailing him a hero for his work as a whistleblower, has now drastically changed its tune, after the debut of his talk show on RT. While some say it’s due to journalistic jealousy, others believe the U-turn is political. Laura Smith reports from London.” (In “Assange’s mainstream friends U-turn after show boom“. Published by Russia Today, 24 April 2012. 
Laura Smith mentioned two main media in her reporting, the New York Times and the Guardian, and she finds marked similarities in their ad-hominem expressions in referring to the person Assange, rather than to the talk show The World Tomorrow, which gave reason to their commenting. Further, I found that those meanings also coincide with what the Swedish mainstream media published, at times in nearly exact terms (such as the New York Times’ reference to “Grandiosity and paranoia” and the Swedish SvD’s “Messiah complex and paranoia”; see the table here below:
New York Times
Swedish National Radio, SR
Ad-hominem description / slander
“Grandiose and paranoid”
“A useful idiot”
“Messiah complex” and “Notorious paranoid”
“Charged in Sweden for rape and sexual molestation of two girls”
Article or program title
The Prisoner as Talk Show Host 
The World Tomorrow: Julian Assange proves a useful idiot 
Julian Assange and The World Tomorrow 
How good is Assange’s TV-show?