Power Index: Revolutionaries – Julian Assange n° 1

 1. Julian Assange

Oli Scarff / Getty Images

Founder, WikiLeaks

The Australian who turned a precocious hacking habit into an activist crusade for freedom of information founded WikiLeaks in 2006. Julian Assange and his site rose to prominence with the release of classified documents revealing government corruption, civilian casualties in the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the full text of Sarah Palin’s emails. The organization’s most recent coup: publishing internal emails from global intelligence firm Stratfor. For his part, Assange remains holed up in Ecuador to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he’s accused of sexual misconduct. He launched a talk show in April.


Kristinn Hrafnsson – WikiLeaks: ‘We have not finished’

WikiLeaks spokesman insists mainstream media still have ‘appetite’ to work with the site and that a new submission site will be launched ‘soon’

Posted: 23 March 2012 By: Rachel McAthy

Hrafnsson says the site has working partnerships with “almost 100” outlets across the world

WikiLeaks receives requests “every day” from media outlets keen to work with it, the whistleblower’s website spokesman said today, as he also sought to confirm that the site has “not finished” in its publications.Speaking at the Polis International Journalism conference today Kristinn Hrafnsson said the mainstream media still has an “appetite” to work with the site and that it has ongoing working relationships with “almost 100” outlets across the world.

“We have not finished in our publications” he added, weeks after the site began publishing the first of millions of emails from US-based “global intelligence” provider Stratfor.

This involved an “investigative partnership” with 25 media outlets worldwide, WikiLeaks said at the time.

Today Hrafnsson said the “real problem” is gaining access to material.

In 2010 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced that the site had to close its submission system while it dealt with the amount of material it had accumulated.

Hrafnsson said at the time the site “could not have done justice to material that would have entered”.

“We have been working on a new gateway, which will open hopefully soon, when we are ready to open it.

“There have been obstacles in creating that,” he said, adding that it has been “more technologically challenging that we had expected”.

“There is a constant race with keeping this secure and the ability to crack codes and find out where material comes from.

“Our submission system two years ago would not have been adequate today. We hope this will be a model for receiving information in the future.

“It’s not just about WikiLeaks, we hope that others will copy that model and there will be more huge leaks”.

Solidarity with Julian Assange

By Staff – March 17, 2012
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression on repression against Julian Assange.

The Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression expresses our solidarity for Julian Assange. Amy Goodman reported in the Guardian that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has a sealed indictment in the U.S., according to leaked emails from Stratfor, an intelligence company. The emails were hacked by Anonymous and then published by WikiLeaks. The Guardian and other sources had already reported that a secret federal grand jury in Virginia was investigating Assange for allegedly violating the Espionage Act by publishing classified U.S. State Department documents.

This news brings to mind parallels with our situation. Our committee is organizing in solidarity with the 23 peace and international solidarity activists who have been subpoenaed to testify at a secret federal grand jury in Chicago that alleges material support for terrorism. This investigation is because of their activism.

We believe that the grand jury in the case of the Peace 23 was convened in August 2009, but we are unaware of whether or not it is still meeting. The prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago have told their lawyers repeatedly that they are expecting multiple indictments, but we don’t know when this will occur or if, like in Assange’s case, they have the indictments and are waiting until later to release them. Either way, the Peace 23 wake up every day not knowing if the FBI will be back their doors again – this time to take them into custody.

The grand juries that investigated Assange and that are or were investigating the Peace 23 are similar in many ways. Both meet in secret and are fundamentally undemocratic. Suspects and witnesses are subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury but no one is allowed representation by a lawyer. Both have a wide scope for their “investigation” and neither is limited by a judge or even by much of a time table. Not surprisingly, 99.9% of all federal defendants called before a federal grand jury are indicted, since the grand jury system has been designed to help prosecutors.

Another similarity is the political nature of these cases. Assange is being investigated for publicizing the truth about U.S. foreign policy and the Peace 23 are being targeted for opposing U.S. foreign policy. Materials published by WikiLeaks have been invaluable to the anti-war movement. The true horrors of U.S. occupation in both Afghanistan and Iraq have been documented. Exposing war crimes is not a crime! And neither is solidarity or anti-war activism! End grand jury repression now!


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks with WSWS

“The attacks on us are extraordinarily revealing”

By Richard Phillips  – 16 March 2012

Julian Assange spoke with the World Socialist Web Site this week about the US-led attacks on WikiLeaks, freedom of the press and other basic democratic rights, and the impending British Supreme Court ruling on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on bogus sexual assault allegations.

The WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief has not been charged with a single crime in Sweden, Britain or any other country. Nevertheless, Assange has been held under house arrest for over 450 days, forced to wear an electronic ankle tag, observe a 10 p.m. curfew and report to police on a daily basis.

Julian Assange leaving Royal Court of Justice in London last July (photo: acidpolly)

Richard Phillips: Can you comment on the latest details on the United States grand jury indictment and what happens if you’re extradited to Sweden?

Julian Assange: The new evidence that emerged from the Stratfor files—emails from Texas-based private intelligence agency—show that the US government has obtained a secret grand jury indictment against me. The US ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis Susman, stated in February 2011 that the US government would wait and see what happened with the current Swedish extradition case as to whether it would pursue extradition itself.

The US ambassador to Australia [Jeffrey L. Bleich], one week prior to Obama’s recent visit, also told the Australian media that the Australian government might have to consider its extradition obligations in relation to me, presumably in case I returned to Australia. And while WikiLeaks has many of its people under legal attack, the organisation itself is also under an extra-judicial financial blockade. There are some 40 people who have been swept up in operations by the FBI, Scotland Yard or other police forces.

Regarding the pending Supreme Court decisions in Great Britain over the Swedish extradition case, if we are unsuccessful then I’m expecting to be extradited to Sweden within 10 days and then possibly re-extradited to the United States. Even if we are successful in the Supreme Court, the situation will be similar because the United States is likely to unseal its espionage charges through the grand jury and apply directly for my extradition from Great Britain.

Of course, none of these things will happen if it’s not possible to do so politically. When a legal case reaches a sufficiently high public profile for the government, then it becomes a matter of politics.

RP: Do you have any detailed information on direct collusion between Britain, the US and Sweden over your extradition?

JA: What we can say publicly is that on December 8, 2010, the Independent newspaper published a report about informal contacts that were already occurring at that stage between the US and Sweden in relation to my extradition. The Australian embassy in Washington also sent a cable to Canberra round this time, stating that the US intelligence and criminal investigation into WikiLeaks was of “unprecedented scale and nature.” It also said that the criminal prosecution into relation to me was “active and vigorous”. That material was the result of a Freedom of Information request and printed in the Sydney Morning Herald a few months ago.

The UK crown prosecution service has also refused a request under the Freedom of Information Act in relation to communications over potential extradition arrangements, stating that it would affect Great Britain’s diplomatic relations with other countries. In the middle of last year, the UK’s extradition reform panel, which was appointed by the home secretary, met with Eric Holder, the US attorney general, and a number of members of the defence department in the United States. In addition, there have been other recent meetings between Carl Bildt, the Swedish minister of foreign affairs [and close friend of Karl Rove], and William Haig, the UK foreign affairs minister.

RP: Can you comment on the role being played by Australia’s Gillard government?

JA: The reaction by the Gillard government to WikiLeaks activities, in particular our release of the US diplomatic cables, was publicly the worst of any nation. Gillard falsely stated that our organisation was engaged in illegal activities. This was found to be false by an Australian Federal Police investigation. Continue reading

FBI actually leak Stratfor e-mails just to bust Julian Assange?

Posted by THN Reporter – 3/15/2012
FBI+actually+leak+Stratfor+e-mails+just+to+bust+Julian+AssangeInternal emails disclosed by Anonymous and WikiLeaks suggest that Stratfor, a private intelligence firm working with the U.S. Justice Department.

But The FBI turned a computer hacker to build its case against a group of people it alleges are responsible for a string of audacious attacks that captured the personal details of more than one million people.

Hector Monsegur, known as Sabu, leader of the Anonymous affiliated hacking group LulzSec, was arrested by FBI agents in his New York apartment on Monday, June 7, 2011, at 10:15PM. On August 15, Monsegur pleaded guily to several counts of hacking and identity theft.
Seeing that Xavier ‘Sabu’ Monsegur had apparently been working for the FBI for the last couple of months, it isn’t too far-fetched to think that the leaks of the Stratfor e-mails given to Wikileaks by Anonymous was nothing more than a tactic to entrap Wikileaks and build a case against Assange. Was the arrest last week of the five LulzSec members just part of an intermediate stop gap in the pursuit of a far more prominent fugitive, namely Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks?
Additional self-incriminating Tweets from Sabu’s Twitter account also implicate him as one of the Stratfor hackers. But if Sabu was in fact working for the FBI, how could the Stratfor hack be anything more than a clearcut case of entrapment perpetrated by the FBI?

Stratfor does it with impunity, while Assange is “fucked”

March 13, 2012 by Mark Tokarski

Democracy Now, there appears to be a sealed indictment against Julian Assange coming out of the highly secretive Obama Administration. This from Rolling Stone magazine, a few issues ago:

Assange recently spoke to someone he calls a Western “intelligence source,” and he asked the official about his fate. Will he ever be a free man again, allowed to return to his native Australia, to come and go as he pleases? “He told me I was fucked,” Assange says.

The Obama Administration has been far worse in the privacy/free speech area than any administration before, and gets away with it because are happy to support any policy so long as the person who puts it in place is a Democrat.

This from DN:

The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has published an internal email from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that suggests the U.S. Justice Department has obtained a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The email is one of around five million obtained from Stratfor’s servers by the hacker group, Anonymous. “Somehow you have a private intelligence company, Stratfor, a ‘shadow CIA,’ as people have called it, having information about this sealed indictment—secret again—that Julian Assange doesn’t have, that WikiLeaks doesn’t have, that his lawyers don’t have,” says Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is a legal adviser to both Assange and to WikiLeaks. “What you see here is secrecy, secrecy, secrecy.” News of the indictment comes less than a week after Army Private Bradley Manning was arraigned for allegedly leaking classified U.S. military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks.

Isn’t it interesting that a private corporation has this information, presumably leaked, and bears no scrutiny, while Julian Assange, who has done the very same thing, is “fucked?”


Assange inculpé : le regrettable silence des journalistes

Le « Grand Jury » mis en place l’an dernier par le ministère de la Justice américain, suite à la révélation des câbles diplomatiques par WikiLeaks, aurait bel et bien inculpé Julian Assange, sur le terrain de l’espionnage1. C’est là l’une des révélations majeures contenues dans les e-mails de la société de renseignement privée Stratfor, publiés cette semaine par WikiLeaks.

Presse traditionnelle vs. Julian Assange

Cette nouvelle particulièrement inquiétante pour la liberté de la presse et la transparence de nos démocraties reste pourtant négligée. Tout se passe comme si les grands médias traditionnels ne mesuraient pas réellement l’importance de ce qui si joue. Et il en va de même du côté des ONG défendant la liberté de la presse : ni l’ACLU, ni le Comité de Protection des Journalistes, ni Reporters Sans Frontières ne se sont émus de la nouvelle, que le ministère de la Justice américain – tout en se refusant à la confirmer – ne dément pas.

Comme si l’entreprise de diabolisation de Julian Assange avait fonctionné. Comme si les efforts de distanciation d’une partie de la « grande presse internationale » qui a collaboré avec WikiLeaks (le New York Times et le Guardian en particulier) avaient réussi. Depuis plusieurs mois en effet, ces derniers n’ont eu cesse d’expliquer que WikiLeaks ne mène pas un travail journalistique, et de décrire Assange comme un homme à l’éthique douteuse, un idéologue buté et viscéralement hostile aux États-Unis. Les choses ont encore empiré lorsque, en août 2011, WikiLeaks a pris la décision de publier l’intégralité des câbles diplomatiques, sans vérifier au préalable leur contenu. Assange est alors tombé en disgrâce aux yeux de nombreux journalistes qui le soutenaient encore, et ce alors même que, dans cette affaire, le Guardian est au moins aussi responsable que WikiLeaks.

Ce divorce croissant entre les journalistes professionnels et Assange ne serait pas inquiétant s’il n’influait pas sur la manière dont nos sociétés se représentent WikiLeaks, et avec WikiLeaks les autres « sonneurs d’alerte » actifs sur Internet. Car à partir du moment où l’on admet que Assange et ses collaborateurs ne font pas partie du « club du journalisme officiel », il devient alors bien plus aisé d’admettre qu’ils puissent ne pas bénéficier des protections de la presse, et donc de justifier des poursuites pour espionnage. Et pourtant…

En droit américain, « WikiLeaks is (a form of) journalism »

Dans un article publié dans la Harvard Civil rights-Civil Liberties Law Review2, le professeur de droit et grand penseur de la société en reseau Yochai Benkler le montre de manière magistrale : le Premier amendement à la Constitution américaine – qui consacre la liberté de la presse – protège Assange au même titre qu’il protège le directeur de publication du New York Times. Le fait d’être un journaliste professionnel rattaché à un groupe de presse ne change rien à l’analyse. Ce n’est pas le mode organisationnel ou la méthode qui intéressent le juge américain, mais bien l’intention de l’auteur ou de l’éditeur qui souhaite porter à la connaissance du public des informations d’intérêt général. La jurisprudence citée par Benkler est limpide. Dans l’affaire Von Bulow v. Von Bulow, une Cour d’appel fédérale indique ainsi : Continue reading

Fiscales de EU presentaron “cargos secretos” contra Assange en 2011, revela Wikileaks

De la Redacción – Periódico La Jornada – Miércoles 29 de febrero de 2012

Fiscales de Estados Unidos presentaron “cargos secretos” contra Julian Assange, fundador del portal Wikileaks, hace más de un año, según los documentos filtrados de la empresa de inteligencia estadunidense Stratfor dados a conocer ayer.

“Tenemos una acusación sellada contra Assange”, reconoció el 26 enero de 2011 el vicepresidente de Stratfor, Fred Burton, en un intercambio de correos electrónicos con sus colegas, por lo que pidió máxima discreción. No se conoce cuál es la acusación contra el australiano.

Un mes antes, un gran jurado emitió una sentencia contra Assange al acusarlo de espionaje, indicó el diario español Público en Internet. Continue reading

Assange incriminato negli Usa

di Stefania Maurizi – 28 febbraio 2012

Le mail dell’azienda di spionaggio privato Stratfor parlano di un atto di accusa segreto già firmato contro il fondatore di WikiLeaks. Un provvedimento che permetterebbe di arrestarlo non appena venisse consegnato agli americani.

Julian Assange«Abbiamo un atto di incriminazione contro Assange coperto dal segreto istruttorio». Gli analisti di Stratfor, la società privata statunitense di intelligence, nelle loro mail più riservate danno corpo a un sospetto che a Washington non hanno mai voluto confermare: è già stato firmato un provvedimento formale contro il fondatore di WikiLeaks, una misura che permetterebbe di arrestarlo e processarlo non appena consegnato alle autorità statunitensi.

L’atto di incriminazione sarebbe stato secretato: un’arma top secret per intervenire contro le fughe di documenti riservati lanciate dalla rete di Assange.

“L’Espresso” pubblica in esclusiva per l’Italia la seconda ondata di file provenienti dagli archivi riservati di Stratfor, un’azienda spesso definita “l’ombra della Cia”, e diffusi da WikiLeaks.

Si tratta di mail in cui gli analisti e le fonti della holding di intelligence privata discutono proprio di Assange e della sua rete. Dialoghi in cui spesso danno solo sfogo al disprezzo contro l’uomo che ha violato i carteggi più segreti del pianeta, dal Pentagono al Dipartimento di Stato. E tra tante mail, una sola era custodita nel forziere informatico più protetto di Stratfor, dove due mesi fa sono penetrati gli hacker di Anonymus. Continue reading

Los correos de Stratfor revelan que EEUU tiene preparada una acusación contra Assange

 A la agencia le sorprendió que la Interpol emitiera una orden de arresto por abusos sexuales contra él

Por Miguel Áangel Criado –  Madrid 28/02/2012

Julian Assange durante su última rueda de prensa.“Tenemos una acusación sellada contra Assange”, reconocía en enero del año pasado el vicepresidente de Stratfor, Fred Burton, en uno de los correos a los que ha tenido acceso Wikileaks y que Público está dando a conocer. De la lectura de los email se deduce que los expertos de la agencia de seguridad no tienen mucho aprecio por Julian Assange, al que llaman en varias ocasiones “gilipollas”. Sin embargo, hicieron una copia de todos los cables publicados por Wikileaks y los guardaron en sus servidores para su uso personal.

Burton fue en el pasado responsable de la división de contraterrorismo del servicio de seguridad diplomática del Departamento de Estado de EEUU. El 26 de enero, en un intercambio de correos con sus colegas en Stratfor, reconoce que tienen esa acusación, pidiendo máxima discreción sobre ello. Un mes antes, un Gran Jurado habría emitido esa orden secreta contra Assange por espionaje.

Pero para eso hay que conseguir que Assange llegue a EEUU. Durante el mes de diciembre de 2010, con el caso Wikileaks en su máximo apogeo, Stratfor sigue muy de cerca las desventuras de Assange en Londres. El 7 de diciembre, tras hacerse pública su detención por la policía británica, William O’chee, antiguo senador en el Parlamento australiano y actual consultor, escribe a Burton dándole la noticia. “Lamentablemente, no tuvo un accidente de coche por el camino”, acierta a bromear. A lo que Burton responde: “La venganza es un plato que se sirve frío”.

Assange: “La justicia secreta no es justicia en absoluto”  Continue reading