3 December 2010
Wikileaks and the cables
+1 for the phrase
banging the absolute hell out of.
Gizmodo first reports that the Swedish charges against Assange (because, you know, they're relevant to whether the content of the leaked documents adds insight to the action of the US govt) were not rape, then update them to reflect updated charges. Basically--and this is a delicate area--Assange had consensual protected sex, they slept, then woke up and had either consensual or unconsensual sex without a condom. It takes Gizmodo to report this? Really?!
Julian Assange answers your questions over at Guardian earlier today at ~13:00 UTC. Site was down for the duration of the Q&A, but they eventually get published. Worth reading for the alternate humility and slight arrogance. A pity he sided-stepped a diplomat's question--pissy as it was. Regarding getting bumped from AWS:
Since 2007 we have been deliberately placing some of our servers in jurisdictions that we suspected suffered a free speech deficit inorder to separate rhetoric from reality. Amazon was one of these cases.
Wishing I would have better documented the reasons why these cables are neither boring nor filled with justifications to kill Assange (make up your minds, US politicians; either they're deadly or they're mundane):
- Embassies were told to collect DNA. To understand the significance, imagine that every American were fingerprinted as they left Dulles. Side note: it's a shame that it takes the imagine-if-it-happened-to-Americans argument to make people understand the relevance.
- The US govt put pressure on German's and Spain's judges to drop the investigation of the CIA's kidnapping and torture of innocent German citizen Khalid El-Masri. Saddam had secret rape rooms. Central American dictators have left a legacy of disappeared peoples. The US, with Bush's extraordinary rendition, has risen to the ranks of dictatorships by acting this way. We're more distasteful because we affect an aegis of freedom.
- The UK promised to defend the US during Iraq War inquiries. No mention of promising to uphold the truth.
- Yemen lies about the US bombings, saying
We'll continue saying they are our bombs, not yours.
- Anger among America's allies when they discovered that the US military was charging a 15% handling fee on hundreds of millions of dollars being raised internationally to build up the Afghan army.
Death threats and blood lust:
- Tom Flanagan, a [former] senior adviser to Canadian Prime Minister
I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.
Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?and asked whether it was a
Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.
- http://wikileaksmirrors.tumblr.com/ - actually a list of mirrors
The information is out there. You haven't stopped anything.
[ updated 9 Dec 2010 ]
Not wanting to get too deeply into the charges, but a Slashdot comment references a blog post pointing to some suspicious social networking comments by one of the accusers. I hadn't seen this anywhere else, so it seems worth linking.
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