Posts Tagged ‘whistleblower’
By David Kravets – 11.07.12
A 2-year-old federal grand jury probe into the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks is still “ongoing,” a federal judge in Virginia revealed Wednesday in a brief ruling.
It’s the first official confirmation since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was granted asylum by the Ecuadorean government in August that the grand jury investigation is continuing.
U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of Alexandria, Virginia, noted the investigation in a legal flap surrounding three WikiLeaks associates who lost their bid to protect their Twitter records from U.S. investigators. The three had asked the court to unseal documents in their case. In May, O’Grady ordered the documents remain under seal for six months. On Wednesday he renewed that order, based on a government filing.
“For reasons stated in the memorandum of the United States, unsealing of the documents at this time would damage an ongoing criminal investigation,” O’Grady ruled. (.pdf)
The Justice Department served Twitter with a records demand in December 2010 as part of the investigation into WikiLeaks.
The targets of the records demand are WikiLeaks’ official Twitter account, and the accounts of three people connected to the group: Seattle coder and activist Jacob Appelbaum; Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament; and Dutch businessman Rop Gonggrijp. Jonsdottir and Gonggrijp helped WikiLeaks prepare the release of a classified U.S. Army video published last year, “Collateral Murder,” and Appelbaum was the site’s U.S. representative.
The court order Twitter complied with sought the full contact details for the Twitter accounts (phone numbers and addresses, even though Twitter doesn’t collect these — only an e-mail address), account payment method if any (credit card and bank account number), IP addresses used to access the account, connection records (“records of session times and durations”) and data transfer information, such as the size of data files sent to someone else, and the destination IP (though this isn’t technically possible in Twitter).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union unsuccessfully fought the Twitter order, arguing in part that it violated the account holders’ First Amendment rights. The groups lost, and the judge refused to stay his order pending appeal.
The order requiring Twitter to turn over information also showed that the authorities were seeking other information, including mailing addresses, billing information, email addresses, credit card and bank account numbers, and IP address information from other internet service providers.
The ACLU and EFF sought to unseal the government’s request for these records, but Judge O’Grady allowed the government to keep under seal those court orders.
The only person who has been charged with any crimes connected to WikiLeaks, is former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, whose long-delayed trial is scheduled for February. Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the United Kingdom. Ecuador has granted Assange asylum, claiming that if Assange is returned to Sweden to face questioning in a sex crimes investigation he’ll be shipped to the United States to face prosecution in connection to WikiLeaks.
‘Assange challenged sandbagger journalism’
06/nov/2012 by RussiaToday
The group of people who posted bail for Julian Assange have handed over thousands of pounds to authorities in Britain. Their money was forfeit after the world’s most famous whistleblower violated the conditions of his release by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The Wikileaks editor is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden. Vaughan Smith is a renowned champion of independent journalism and one of those who had to pay. He joins RT for a chat.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
US and Australia in cahoots for years over Assange intel
Published: 19 October, 2012, 14:59
Australia has been handing key intelligence on Julian Assange to Washington for over two years. Newly-released cables indicate the US conducted an “active and vigorous enquiry” as early as 2010 to ascertain if they could try Assange for espionage.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) revealed it had been in cahoots with the US over the Assange case for over two years, saying it had turned over documents as early as 2010 that pertained to the whistleblower’s activities.
One of the cables dated November 2011 includes a communiqué between former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and former Attorney-General Robert McClelland on the subject of how best to prosecute Assange.
The cable stipulates that the most successful route to prosecution “would be to show that Mr. Assange had acted as a co-conspirator – soliciting, encouraging or assisting [US Army private] Bradley Manning, to obtain and provide the documents.”
US officials put pressure on Canberra following the release of thousands of cables, saying that “the WikiLeaks case was unprecedented both in its scale and nature.”
The government body also confirmed they had sent intelligence to the US government on June 1 prior to Assange’s appeal of his extradition to Sweden to be questioned over sexual assault charges.
The Australian government had previously refuted claims that they had any knowledge of a conspiracy to put Assange to trial in the US.
“I’ve received no hint that they’ve got a plan to extradite him to the US … I would expect that the US would not want to touch this,” said Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr in June.
However, in August Australian officials confirmed that the country’s diplomatic mission in Washington has been prepping for Assange’s possible extradition to the US calling it “contingency planning.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Persecution of Wikileaks - “Burning the Messenger”
by James Rothenberg october 9, 2012
The just finished Banned Books Week serves as a vivid reminder that we must be vigilant about freedom of expression and freedom from censorship. Absent this vigilance, we could wake up in a society that not only bans books, but takes the next step and burns them as well. The German writer, Heinrich Heine, extended this with grim historical accuracy: “Where books are burned, it ends in burning people.”
We can extend these thoughts about books into the general area of censorship, military and government censorship. Presently there is a landmark case, actually more of an affair, involving the US government and WikiLeaks, the online organization that provides anonymity for sources to leak information. The US feels it has leaked too much information about the wrong country, the US. Read the rest of this entry »
Pubblicato in data 27/july/2012 by RussiaToday
There’s a glimmer of hope for whistleblower Julian Assange as Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’s currently taking refuge, says Swedish authorities are welcome to come over to question Assange over sex crime allegations. Ecuador says it will decide on whether to grant asylum after the London Olympics, which end on August 12th. Michael Ratner, a legal advisor to both Julian Assange and Wikileaks says Ecuador does offer hope to Assange.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
Defence team for US soldier Bradley Manning argues that case was mishandled by prosecutors and must now be thrown out.
Lawyers for US soldier Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking secret documents to the WikiLeaks website, have argued for the dismissal of all charges against their client at a pre-trial hearing.
Attorneys for the 24-year-old US army private filed motions on Tuesday asking a military judge to throw out all or some of the 22 counts that allege their client passed along a massive trove of classified documents to the secret-spilling website.
Manning’s defence team says that prosecutors have utterly failed to meet their obligations to share relevant information with them and that therefore the whole case must be thrown out.
Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, said Manning’s lawyers have argued “there just isn’t enough evidence” for prosecutors to prove their case.
She said though few expect the charges to be dismissed, the final outcome cannot be known until a judge’s ruling is made.
“I’ve learned from watching jugdes in courtrooms over many years that you never know until a judge actually issues an exact ruling on what he or she thinks can be done in a particular case,” said our correspondent.
Manning is accused of giving WikiLeaks a massive trove of US military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, 260,000 classified state department cables, Guantanamo detainee assessments and videos of US air strikes.
Trained on various intelligence systems, Manning served in Iraq from November 2009 until his arrest the following May. Read the rest of this entry »
Elizabeth Farrelly – April 12, 2012
I’m not given to conspiracy theories, incompetence being so much easier to imagine, but one thing gives credibility to Clive Palmer’s otherwise nutty CIA phantasm about US influence in Australia.
It is Julian Assange, a story that hinges on the uncomfortable relationship between truth and power.
We expect truth-telling from our four-year-olds but not from our politicians. In the case of Assange, truth is actively and repeatedly punished.
This implies that, as you move up through society’s power strata, there’s a point where morality flips.
A sort of moral inversion layer, beneath which the rules apply but above which they’re reversed.
The modern Labor Party seems to illustrate this as well as anyone.
It seemed rather a giggle last year when, after their electoral drubbing, NSW Labor felt the need for ethics classes to learn how to be “honest with ourselves and … the people we represent”. But prolonged electroconvulsive therapy might have been more in order, for whichever thread you pull, the last decade of Labor emerges like an episode of the Jason Bourne film franchise.
Start anywhere. Say, at Mark Arbib. Arbib, then a Labor senator crucial in deposing a first-term prime minister and crowning Julia Gillard, was later revealed as a secret US government source. He also owned a beachfront apartment in Maroubra, built by a Labor donor developer, as did Labor’s former NSW treasurer Eric Roozendaal, both in the very same block where Moses Obeid, son of Labor MLC Eddie, also resided. Read the rest of this entry »
Pfc. Bradley Manning, an alleged WikiLeaks whistle-blower, will be formally arraigned on the 23rd of February.
While his presence in the courtroom will be brief, the arraignment sets in motion Manning’s court martial, which is currently expected to begin in May. With this in mind we are requesting that supporters write, email, and call their local representatives to express their outrage over the charges against, and the treatment of, Pfc. Bradley Manning. The military court proceedings have thus far been for show, but we can still ask our elected officials to protect whistle-blowers and to pressure the Obama Administration to drop all the charges against Bradley Manning.
1. It took a year and a half to get to the pretrial hearing, and once there the military selected an Investigating Officer from the same department investigating WikiLeaks. This is not justice.
2. Military officials are refusing to allow access to key witnesses and evidence. The only witnesses called by the defense who will be allowed to testify are those who have also been called by the administration. They have blocked critically important evidence — such as internal administration WikiLeaks impact assessments — from being considered in open court. This evidence could have contradicted the government’s ridiculous “aiding the enemy” charge.
3. Whistle-blowers are essential to a vibrant democracy. Secrecy is not the answer. Laws must be implemented to protect whistle-blowers. Blowing the whistle on war crimes should not be a crime. Why was this material classified in the first place? The classification of government documents should not be used to cover up crimes.
4. Eight months of solitary confinement is torture. The Obama administration has repeatedly denied the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, from access to a private visit with Bradley Manning. Why has Bradley Manning’s treatment been so severe? Why is Bradley Manning being denied a confidential visit with Juan Mendez? Read the rest of this entry »
Makingispassion – 14 dec. 2011