WikiLeaks: the latest developments

12.50pm: The Telegraph has published cables on homegrown UK terrorism. In one, a US congressional delegation (which included Gabrielle Giffords, the congresswoman shot last month in Tucson) is told the following by a member of MI6 (name redacted):

The internal threat is growing more dangerous because some extremists are conducting non-lethal training without ever leaving the country. Should these extremists then decide to become suicide operatives, HMG intelligence resources, eavesdropping and surveillance would be hard pressed to find them on any “radar screen.” XXXXXXXXXXXX described this as a “generational” problem that will not go away anytime soon

11.40am:CloseLink to this update: Some recent developments:

• A pre-recorded message from Julian Assange has been played to pro-WikiLeaks rally in Australia. He said he wants to return home to Sydney Melbourne and compared WikiLeaks to the peace movement, environmentalism and feminism. He said:

For the internet generation this is our challenge and this is our time. We support a cause that is no more radical a proposition than that the citizenry has a right to scrutinise the state.

The state has asserted its authority by surveilling, monitoring and regimenting all of us, all the while hiding behind cloaks of security and opaqueness. Surely it was only a matter of time before citizens pushed back and we asserted our rights.

Australia’s ABC adds that he called on Australia’s prime minister, Julia Gillard, to take “active steps to bring me home”.

• Bradley Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, has posted the following statement on his blog about the US army private’s citizenship:

PFC Manning does not hold a British passport, nor does he consider himself a British citizen. He is an American, and is proud to be serving in the United States Army. His current confinement conditions are troubling to many both here in the United States and abroad. This concern, however, is not a citizenship issue. Instead, it is one involving a basic fundamental right not to be unlawfully punished prior to trial.

PFC Manning is not being held like any other detainee at Quantico. He is in Maximum Custody and under Prevention of Injury watch over the repeated recommendation of brig forensic psychiatrists. There has been no stated justification for PFC Manning’s confinement conditions. It is the hope of the defense that through the various inquiries into the arbitrary nature of his confinement status, he will soon receive relief from these onerous conditions

• Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich, a candidate for his party’s nomination in the last two presidential elections, has suggested in a letter to the US defence secretary that Manning could be being subject to “cruel and unusual” punishment in military jail. His phraseology is important – “cruel and unusual” punishment is in violation of the US constitution.

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems. He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a “Maximum Custody Detainee”, the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on himNow, reports indicate that the Army has taken Pfc. Manning, a soldier with documented mental health problems, and confined him under conditions that are almost guaranteed to exacerbate his mental health problems. If true, the Army’s treatment would obviously constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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One thought on “WikiLeaks: the latest developments

  1. New article:
    by Carne Ross, who was present at the panel at Columbia University yesterday, about the full impact & importance of the cables.
    “Are the #cablegate cables too important to be left to WikiLeaks, New York Times, Guardian etc?”

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