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  • Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

    Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

    I could not quite decide wether to place this in "Politics" or "Armed forces", but as the subject matter revolves in many cases about the forces on the ground interwoven with political affairs I finally decide to place it here although the subject matter is wide ranging and covers many current issues.

    The controversial website WikiLeaks collects and posts highly classified documents and videos. Founder Julian Assange, who is reportedly being sought for questioning by US authorities, talks to TED's Chris Anderson about how the site operates, what it has accomplished and what drives him.

  • #2
    Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

    WikiLeaks vs White House: Who's twisting the truth?


    • #3
      Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

      WikiLeaks on the Pakistani double game, Afghanistan, US death squads, drones + local civilian losses

      (composite video) The revelations by... WikiLeaks emerged as Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of greater NATO casualties in Afghanistan as violence mounts over the summer.

      It also came as the Taliban said they were holding captive one of two U.S. servicemen who strayed into insurgent territory, and that the other had been killed. The reported capture will further erode domestic support for America's 9-year-old war.

      Contained in more than 90,000 classified documents, the Wikileaks revelations could fuel growing doubts in Congress about U.S. President Barack Obama's war strategy at a time when the U.S. death toll is soaring.....

      Pakistan was actively collaborating with the Taliban in Afghanistan while accepting U.S. aid, new U.S. military reports showed, a disclosure likely to increase the pressure on Washington's embattled ally.....

      The US military has launched an inquiry to find the source of tens of thousands of classified American documents on the war in Afghanistan that were leaked to the media (they're from the US military, duh!) .....

      Wikileaks reveals Afghan civilian deaths - Thousands of secret military documents have been leaked, revealing details of incidents when civilians were killed by coalition troops in Afghanistan.

      The cache contains more than 90,000 US records giving a blow-by-blow account of fighting between January 2004 and December 2009.....

      Wikileaks documents show Pakistan and Taliban link

      Datablog + Afghanistan: the war logs

      Key findings from the WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" -

      •The C.I.A.'s paramilitary operations are expanding in Afghanistan
      •The Taliban has used portable, heat-seeking missiles against Western aircraft
      •Americans suspect Pakistan's spy service of guiding Afghan insurgency

      Mapping US drone and Islamic militant attacks in Pakistan

      Daily View: WikiLeaks' Afghanistan war logs

      Wikileaks Afghanistan files: every IED attack, with co-ordinates

      Founded by secretive Australian Julian Assange, Wikileaks was originally based in Sweden and garnered 1.2 million leaked documents in time for its launch in January 2007. It taps in to the world's web users' desire either for justice or revenge on former employers or acquaintances, but its most significant stories have been held up as largely in the public interest.....

      Wikileaks founder defends war files leak

      Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It

      @ 4.14+ Obituary: Benazir Bhutto - Benazir Bhutto followed her father into politics, and both of them died because of it - he was executed in 1979, she fell victim to an apparent suicide bomb attack.
      Her two brothers also suffered violent deaths.

      Like the Nehru-Gandhi family in India, the Bhuttos of Pakistan are one of the world's most famous political dynasties. Benazir's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was prime minister of Pakistan in the early 1970s.

      His government was one of the few in the 30 years following independence that was not run by the army.....

      Frontline Club ..... has a strong emphasis on conflict reporting and aims to promote independent journalism. Discussions, held most weekday evenings, are broadcast live via the club's website....

      Report: Bin Laden Already Dead,2933,4...

      Who's keeping the terror myth alive? http://www.informationclearinghouse.i...


      • #4
        Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

        Hello Gordon

        With so many broken links in the above, one has to ask who is behind the cover up?

        The truth will break through eventually, but by that time, a few will have made BIG monies.

        Far, far too many laws nowadays, we only require to original 10, to be implemented.



        • #5
          Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

          Just like "Alicein Wonderland"........ It's becoming.......curiouser and curiouser or....... Alice
          I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!

          Gillard 'prejudicing Assange's right to trial'
          Updated 3 hours 41 minutes ago

          ABC News..Australia.

          Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been accused of possibly prejudicing any future case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by claiming he is "guilty of illegality" for leaking US diplomatic cables.

          Mr Assange is expected to meet with British police sometime in the next 24 hours after Swedish authorities issued a fresh warrant for his arrest over alleged sexual offences.

          Mr Assange and his lawyers say they will fight any extradition from the UK because they fear he will be handed over to authorities in the US, where he has been dubbed a "high-tech terrorist" and an "enemy combatant".

          This morning Ms Gillard said: "Let's not try and put any glosses on this. It would not happen, information would not be on WikiLeaks if there had not been an illegal act undertaken."

          "The Australian Federal Police is going to provide the Government with some advice about potential criminal conduct of the individual involved," she added.

          "People would be aware that there's also the issue of a warrant relating to an alleged sexual assault in Sweden. What I would say about the publication of the WikiLeaks information is it's grossly irresponsible.

          "We've got the Australian Federal Police looking to see whether Australian laws have been broken, and then we've got the commonsense test about the gross irresponsibility of this conduct."

          But some Australian legal experts question whether Mr Assange has broken any law.

          Liberty Victoria president Spencer Zifcak says he is shocked by Ms Gillard's statements.

          "I was astonished actually," he said.

          "As a lawyer, and presumably a highly competent one, that in this context she would have made a statement that was so highly inappropriate.

          "One can imagine the reaction of a jury on hearing the person whose trial they're involved in has been said by the Prime Minister to be guilty. I'm really very surprised by it.

          "There is no charge, there is no trial, there is no properly constituted court, and yet the Prime Minister deems it appropriate to say that Mr Assange has committed a criminal offence.

          "That is a statement without foundation, it pre-empts the outcome of any proceedings, it denies him the presumption of innocence and it prejudices his right to fair trial."

          Lawyers for Mr Assange say Ms Gillard may have behaved illegally by defaming their client.

          One member of his legal team, Jennifer Robinson, says the Prime Minister's assertion that the website's publication of the documents is illegal goes too far.

          "Her comments were made outside of Parliament so they're certainly not privileged, and I think it was misguided to suggest that he had committed a crime in England and, indeed, defamatory," she said.

          "Although I think that Prime Minister Gillard's account will probably come at the ballot box."

          Professor Zifcak says WikiLeaks does not seem to have done anything illegal.

          "All WikiLeaks has done is publish documents that have been given to it. Now the interesting thing about that is WikiLeaks is publishing these documents in association with some of the great newspapers of the world.

          "So if WikiLeaks is to be charged with the disclosure of official information then presumably these major newspapers will also be in the guns.

          "But I can't see the authorities, either in Australia or the United States, pursuing those newspapers." :smile:

          Professor Zifcak says he has written to the Prime Minister to express his concern about her comments.

          The latest publications by WikiLeaks have prompted more accusations of crime.

          US secretary of state Hillary Clinton says the release of a secret list of critical infrastructure is deeply distressing and the illegal publication of classified information poses real concerns and dangers.

          But the director of the Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney, Dr Ben Saul, says Mr Assange is the victim of an international smear campaign.

          "Julian Assange has become a target of a kind of global campaign to demonise him as a criminal, as a terrorist," he said.

          "I mean, this is pretty serious stuff. And the Australian Government hasn't said very much on the public record to suggest that they're looking out for his interests in any kind of serious way."

          Dr Saul says the most likely avenue for prosecuting WikiLeaks is through the development of international laws which protect diplomatic correspondence, but even that would be problematic.

          "We know that some of the disclosures by WikiLeaks have genuinely been in the public interest: that is, disclosure has involved US war crimes, for example, in Afghanistan and Iraq. :frown:

          "The disclosure that the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, ordered a campaign of espionage against the United Nations secretary-general, I mean, these are properly matters in the public interest.

          "So if the law on diplomatic inviolability is to be extended globally to all kinds of diplomatic information then there really needs to be a kind of exception or carve out for the disclosure of illegal conduct.

          "It doesn't make sense to absolutely protect the inviolability of diplomatic information if that just becomes a shield for government lawlessness." :crazy:


          • #6
            Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

            Nuclear memories and a Merry Christmas
            By Jonathan Holmes

            Updated Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:39am AEDT

            ABC [Australia] "The Drum"

            The WikiLeaks cables keep on coming, as do the leaks from Sweden about Julian Assange's alleged encounters with Ms A and Ms W. But today, in the season of peace and good will, some memories are brought back by perusing just a few of those hundreds of thousands of cables - those that deal with Pakistan's growing nuclear arsenal.

            There's the cable, for example, sent from Islamabad to Washington by US Ambassador Anne Patterson last November, and posted by The Guardian and WikiLeaks a couple of weeks back. She's reporting on the likelihood of Pakistan agreeing to a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty that would limit its access to weapons-grade uranium or plutonium. She isn't optimistic. In a crucial passage, she writes:

            India's growing conventional military superiority... poses a new level of threat, according to Pakistani counterparts. Indian plans and capabilities have forced Pakistan to rely more on nuclear weapons and less on conventional military capability to balance Indian force... Pakistani military planners... believe that Pakistan needs to transform its arsenal to smaller, tactical weapons that could be used on the battlefield against Indian conventional capabilities. The result of this trend is the need for greater stocks of fissile material to feed Pakistan's nuclear weapons requirement.

            More than 55 years ago, NATO planners in Western Europe, faced with the same perceived military imbalance, came up with precisely the same solution.

            I know a bit about this, because for a couple of years in the mid-1980s I worked on a major documentary series, a British-American television co-production called 'War and Peace in the Nuclear Age' . And one of the programs I produced* dealt with the decisions that led to thousands of so-called 'tactical nuclear weapons' - carried on fighter-bombers, and short-range rockets like the Honest John missile, and even fired from a specially-developed 280mm cannon - being deployed in Western Europe in the mid-1950s.

            The problem, as perceived by NATO's planners, was simple enough. The Soviet Union was believed to have at least three times as many divisions as the Western European alliance could muster - or rather, than its population, in the aftermath of World War II, was prepared to pay for. So, in the words of one planner, US Air Force General (then a colonel) John Richardson, they looked for "a way of doing the business, a method of resisting Soviet aggression... that was affordable and did not depend upon mass".*

            And that meant tactical nuclear weapons. Atomic bombs to be dropped wherever the enemy forces were concentrating on the battlefield. Nuclear artillery shells to be fired 20 kilometres in front of our own armies, each one packing a bigger punch than the bomb that had wiped out Hiroshima 10 years earlier. As a British military official, Sir Richard Powell, told me: "They were accepted as being perfectly reasonable weapons to use in a tactical battle in continental Europe... I mean, the fact it would have devastated quite a large part of Germany had to be accepted."

            A French strategist, Air Force General Pierre Gallois, recalled presenting the military plans to NATO governments in 1954: "Everybody said the strategy was a good one. Except the Germans".

            No wonder. In June 1955, NATO forces staged Operation Carte Blanche, a full-scale war game in West Germany. In 'defending' that country against a putative Soviet invasion, more than 300 notional atomic weapons were dropped in a single week. If the bombs had been real, it was estimated that a million and a half German civilians would have been killed, a further three million injured - and that's before taking account of any radioactive fallout, or the effects of Soviet retaliation, which might well have taken the form of dropping its own small number of very large bombs on European cities.*

            The West Germans, utterly dependant on NATO, were not in a position to change the strategy. But in any case, General Richardson told me, it worked:

            We didn't have at that time the capability to fight effectively with nuclear weapons... But that didn't matter, because no-one knew we didn't, least of all the Russians, who regardless of their superiority (in conventional forces) were then forced to go back and take 10 or 20 years to figure out how to cope with this new technology and this new threat, and we bought 20 years of deterrence.*

            Deterrence. It's often forgotten by those who oppose nuclear weapons (and who, outside the tiny circle of those who dealt with these appalling concepts for a living, doesn't oppose nuclear weapons?) that nuclear deterrence did work. Against all likelihood, against the evidence of the previous half century, Europe survived the Cold War with barely a shot fired in anger. All the shots were being fired elsewhere in the world, away from the shelter of the superpowers' nuclear 'umbrella'.

            I vividly remember Pierre Gallois - a man who was regarded as one of the fathers of the French nuclear force de frappe - telling me in 1986, as hundreds of thousands were dying in the unspeakably bloody Iran-Iraq War, that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was a far more despicable exercise of racist power than the colonial empires ever were; that it was directly responsible for all those deaths.

            "Do you really think," he asked me, "that if Iran and Iraq had had the ability to destroy each other's cities with nuclear weapons, they would ever have gone to war? Of course not. But we regard them as untrustworthy children; so we sell them weapons they can use to kill each other, but refuse to let them have the weapons that would have made killing each other unthinkable." (He said this off camera, so there's no record in the WGBH archive).

            It's a point of view, and one to bear in mind, as we read American and British diplomats pondering how to persuade the Pakistanis to give up their foolish notions about countering Indian military superiority with the threat of tactical nuclear weapons. After all, despite the fact that no conceivable existential threat to either the United States or Britain currently exists, both cling stubbornly to their own nuclear arsenals.

            Of course, it's not the appalling carnage of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan that really worries the West: nuclear deterrence is likely to work just as well on the sub-continent as it did in Europe. What keeps Western governments awake at nights is the very real possibility that fissile material, or even an actual nuclear weapon, will find its way from Pakistan's military into the hands of the Islamist militants whose power in Pakistan is still steadily growing. People who believe that taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of infidels might be a short-cut to Paradise are not easily deterred by the threat of nuclear retaliation.

            But here's some Christmas cheer for you. A nuclear device delivered by a terrorist to New York City or London might cause hundreds of thousands of deaths. A nuclear war between Pakistan and India might cause millions. But in 1961, when Robert McNamara took over as John F Kennedy's secretary of defence, he found that the Single Integrated Operational Plan (the SIOP) drawn up by the planners of Strategic Air Command in Omaha Nebraska presented the president with but a single option in the case of nuclear war: the simultaneous delivery of around 3,000 nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union, on China, and on every nation of Eastern Europe, some of them 10 megaton hydrogen bombs, almost a thousand times more powerful than the fission bombs that destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. As one of those planners told me in 1986, the 'guidance' to which he and his colleagues worked called for 'severe damage' to be inflicted on most targets:

            "'Moderate damage', to be facetious, is gravel, 'severe damage' is dust. They didn't want it reduced to gravel, they wanted it reduced to dust." (Admiral Jerry Miller, US Navy) *

            And that dust would have been massively radioactive.

            Of course, the SIOP was one of America's most closely-guarded secrets. But if the internet, and WikiLeaks, had existed back then, and the plan had been published for all to read, it might not have made much difference.

            We all knew, around the time of the Cuban missile crisis, that if deterrence failed, it could mean the end of intelligent life on earth. No threat that we now face compares with that.

            Merry Christmas.

            * These quotes and data are from my own notes and transcripts. WGBH Boston's Open Vault has posted video and transcripts of many interviews conducted for the series, but apparently not those I conducted with Gen. John Richardson, USAF, NATO planner in the 1950s, or with Admiral Jerry Miller, USN, SIOP planner in 1960. Nor have I been able to find transcripts of War and Peace in The Nuclear Age on line.

            Jonathan Holmes is the presenter of ABC TV's Media Watch.


            ************************************************** ****************************

            The Doomsday Dilemma by John Barry and Evan ThomasApril 03, 2010
            This Spring, Barack Obama will push toward his goal of a nuclear-free world. But the stiffest resistance may be at home.
            (Page 1 of 3)
            For many years, America's master plan for nuclear war with the Soviet Union was called the SIOP—the Single Integrated Operational Plan. Beginning in 1962, the U.S. president was given some options to mull in the few minutes he had to decide before Soviet missiles bore down on Washington. He could, for instance, choose to spare the Soviet satellites, the Warsaw Pact countries in Eastern Europe. Or he could opt for, say, the "urban-industrial" strike option—1,500 or so warheads dropped on 300 Russian cities. After a briefing on the SIOP on Sept. 14, 1962, President John F. Kennedy turned to his secretary of state, Dean Rusk, and remarked, "And they call us human beings."

            Ever since the dawn of the atomic age at Hiroshima in August 1945, American presidents have been trying to figure out how to climb off the nuclear treadmill. The urgency may have faded in the post–Cold War era, but the weapons are still there. By 2002, President George W. Bush was signing off on a document containing his administration's Nuclear Posture Review, an -analysis of how America's nuclear arms might be used. Bush scribbled on the cover, "But why do we still have to have so many?" According to a knowledgeable source who would not be identified discussing sensitive national-security matters, President Obama wasn't briefed on the U.S. nuclear-strike plan against Russia and China until some months after he had taken office. "He thought it was insane," says the source. (The reason for the delay is unclear; the White House did not respond to repeated inquiries.)

            This article is three pages long-----the full text is at the link
            Last edited by 1938 Observer; 25 December 2010, 00:10. Reason: Adding new section with SIOP and current US Nuclear Approach


            • #7
              Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

              The Atomic Cafe

              One of the defining documentaries of the 20th century, THE ATOMIC CAFE (1982) offers a darkly humorous glimpse into mid-century America, an era rife with paranoia, anxiety, and misapprehension. Whimsical and yet razor-sharp, this timeless classic illuminates the often comic paradoxes of life in the "Atomic Age," while also exhibiting a genuine nostalgia for an earlier and more innocent nation.

              Narrated through an astonishing array of vintage clips and music--from military training films to campy advertisements, presidential speeches to pop songs--the film revolves around the threat--and thrill--of the newly minted atomic bomb. Taking aim at the propaganda and false optimism of the 1950s, the film's satire shines most vividly in the clever image splicing, such as footage of a decimated Hiroshima alongside cheerful suburban "duck-and-cover" routines. More than anything else, THE ATOMIC CAFE shows how nuclear warfare infiltrated the living rooms of America, changing the nation from the inside out.

              Immensely entertaining and devilishly witty, THE ATOMIC CAFE serves up a revealing slice of American history: the legendary decade when we learned to live in a nuclear world.


              • #8
                Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                About Fallout (1955)

                Like many of these Cold War relics, this film is meant to reassure the viewer that the nuclear family is strong enough to survive a nuclear war, and that fallout isn't really that dangerous if you wait two weeks in your shelter before dealing with it. I wonder if these films did not serve a twofold purpose: to encourage the populace to remain calm in the face of what we now know to be a potentially far more dangerous situation, and to reassure us that our own use of nuclear weapons on a certain other country was not that horrible. I find the narrator's tone particularly unsettling here. In the calm tones of science and authority, he tells us that the thing that may kill us is our friend, like the doctor in the Milgrim Experiment that says it's okay to increase the voltage on the test subject when in fact, we're frying the poor guy to death.


                • #9
                  Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                  This is quite a lengthy article about Julian Assagne so I will only post a section of it and leave the reader (if interested) the link at the bottom to peruse the entire article.:smile:

                  The Cypherpunk Revolutionary
                  Robert Manne on Julian Assange
                  The Monthly, March 2011, pp. 17-35

                  [Robert Manne is a professor in the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.]


                  FEWER THAN 20 YEARS AGO JULIAN ASSANGE WAS SLEEPING ROUGH. EVEN A YEAR AGO HARDLY ANYONE KNEW HIS NAME. TODAY HE IS ONE OF THE BEST-KNOWN AND MOST-RESPECTED HUMAN BEINGS ON EARTH. Assange was the overwhelming winner of the popular vote for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" and Le Monde's less politically correct "Man of the Year". If Rupert Murdoch, who turns 80 this month, is the most influential Australian of the postwar era, Julian Assange, who will soon turn 40, is undoubtedly the most consequential Australian of the present time.

                  Murdoch's importance rests in his responsibility for injecting, through Fox News, the poison of rabid populist conservatism into the political culture of the United States; Assange's in the revolutionary threat his idea of publishing damaging documentary information sent by anonymous insiders to WikiLeaks poses to governments and corporations across the globe.

                  Julian Assange has told the story of his childhood and adolescence twice, most recently to a journalist from the New Yorker, Raffi Khatchadourian, and some 15 years ago, secretly but in greater detail, to Suelette Dreyfus, the author of a fascinating book on the first generation of computer hacking, Underground, for which Assange was the primary researcher. In what is called the "Researcher's Introduction", Assange begins with a cryptic quote from Oscar Wilde; "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Nothing about Assange has ever been straightforward. One of the main characters in Underground is the Melbourne hacker Mendax. Although there is no way readers at that time could have known it, Mendax is Julian Assange.

                  Putting Khatchadourian and Dreyfus together, and adding a little detail from a blog that Assange published on the internet in 2006-07 and checking it against common sense and some material that has emerged since his rise to fame, the story of Assange's childhood and adolescence can be told in some detail. There is, however, a problem. Journalists as senior as David Leigh of the Guardian or John F Burns of the New York Times in general accept on trust many of Assange's stories about himself. They do not understand that their subject is a fabulist. By contrast, when Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange's lieutenant at WikiLeaks between late 2007 and September 2010, heard that Assange was writing an autobiography he tells us in Inside WikiLeaks that his "first thought" was that it should be placed "in the fiction section".

                  for the remainder just go to the link >>>>>>>>>> :smile::smile:



                  • #10
                    Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                    With all the natural disasters and confused political situations around the world,not to mention wars/uprisings and minor revolutions, wikileaks and Julian Assange have taken a back seat on the newsfront; but wait for it, we now have a new release of information.

                    WikiLeaks reveals Hicks, Habib Gitmo files

                    ABC NEWS, Australia.

                    Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has released hundreds of secret files on Guantanamo Bay detainees, including those of Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib.

                    The military files include intelligence assessments of nearly 700 detainees held at the naval base in Cuba.

                    The files show summaries of detainees, including their physical wellbeing and background information gleaned from interviews at the camp.

                    The file of Adelaide man Mr Hicks, dated September 2004, says he was in good health and reveals he was overheard saying he would rather be a mercenary than a terrorist.

                    It goes into detail that Mr Hicks, freed in late 2007, was eager to get military experience in East Timor in the 1990s but that he arrived in the conflict too late and was "disappointed".

                    His file says he was "compliant" with authorities but that he had also been "deceptive".

                    "Prior to being put on hold on February 24, 2004, detainee [Mr Hicks] was highly influential and often led in prayer, conducted speeches and organised disturbance," it read.

                    Meanwhile, Mr Habib's file says he was prone to hunger striking and that he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay after being captured by Pakistani forces in 2001 because US authorities believed he may be able to provide details on Al Qaeda training camps.

                    The file says Mr Habib told investigators that while he was staying at a safe house for a terrorist group in Afghanistan, an alleged Russian truck carrying what he was told were chemical weapons arrived which were to be used against US soldiers.

                    The file says Mr Habib said he was under "extreme duress" while in the custody of the Egyptian government when he admitted he was en route to hijack a Qantas flight with a friend.

                    It says Mr Habib later denied he was planning terrorist actions.

                    Investigators in the file also say Mr Habib overheard three men in Kabul talk about a planned attack on an "American switch" in Australia, which was described as a missile-tracking facility.

                    The latest leaked files also reveal an Al Qaeda commander claimed the terrorist network would unleash a "nuclear hellstorm" if its leader Osama bin Laden was ever captured.

                    The nuclear threat was made by an Al Qaeda commander being interrogated at Guantanamo Bay.

                    The files also say bin Laden fled his hide-out in the Tora Bora mountain range in Afghanistan days before Western troops arrived in 2001.

                    The last reported sighting of the Al Qaeda leader was in 2003, when several detainees claim he met other terrorist commanders in Pakistan.


                    Links to the small PDF files on the two people mentioned.

                    David Hicks

                    Mamdouh Ahmed Habib


                    Just an interesting read for those interested in military matters


                    • #11
                      Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                      This "Julian Assange" perspective, contains some interesting items, is a little lengthy, readers no doubt will make their own assumptions.


                      Hans Ulrich Obrist

                      In Conversation with Julian Assange, Part I
                      a couple of extracts shown below.

                      The interview is divided into two parts—in the first, I was interested in tracing his work back to its beginnings. I was not interested in his court case or private life, but in his public work as the voice of WikiLeaks, and the experiences and philosophical background that informs such a monumentally polemical project. In the second part, which will be published in the following issue of e-flux journal, Assange responds to questions posed to him by artists Goldin+Senneby, Paul Chan, Metahaven (Daniel van der Velden and Vinca Kruk), Martha Rosler, Luis Camnitzer, Superflex, Philippe Parreno, and Ai Weiwei.

                      Hans Ulrich Obrist: How did it all begin?

                      Julian Assange: I grew up in Australia in the 1970s. My parents were in the theatre, so I lived everywhere—in over fifty different towns, attending thirty-seven different schools. Many of these towns were in rural environments, so I lived like Tom Sawyer—riding horses, exploring caves, fishing, diving, and riding my motorcycle. I lived a classical boyhood in this regard. But there were other events, such as in Adelaide, where my mother was involved in helping to smuggle information out of Maralinga, the British atomic bomb test site in the outback. She and I and a courier were detained one night by the Australian Federal Police, who told her that it could be said that she was an unfit mother to be keeping such company at 2:00 a.m., and that she had better stay out of politics if she didn’t want to hear such things.

                      I was very curious as a child, always asking why, and always wanting to overcome barriers to knowing, which meant that by the time I was around fifteen I was breaking encryption systems that were used to stop people sharing software, and then, later on, breaking systems that were used to hide information in government computers. Australia was a very provincial place before the internet, and it was a great delight to be able to get out, intellectually, into the wider world, to tunnel through it and understand it. For someone who was young and relatively removed from the rest of the world, to be able to enter the depths of the Pentagon’s Eighth Command at the age of seventeen was a liberating experience. But our group, which centered on the underground magazine I founded, was raided by the Federal Police. It was a big operation. But I thought that I needed to share this wealth that I had discovered about the world with people, to give knowledge to people, and so following that I set up the first part of the internet industry in Australia. I spent a number of years bringing the internet to the people through my free speech ISP and then began to look for something with a new intellectual challenge.

                      Full interviw at the link


                      • #12
                        Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                        Just read about the "draconian" confidentiality agreement the staff of WikiLeaks are subject to for a significant leak of unpublished material of the organization. Not sure how I feel about this. The article says it is because of the loss of potential monies that they could charge for this info. What do y'all think??


                        • #13
                          Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                          The Australian Government should stand by Assange

                          19 December 2011
                          "The DRUM Opinion" ABC News Australia.

                          by Greg Barns: Greg Barns is National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and together with a number of other prominent individuals, is a signatory to an open letter to Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd published today about the plight of Julian Assange.

                          Julian Assange lives to fight another day it seems with the highest court in the UK, the Supreme Court, agreeing on Friday (Australian time) to hear an appeal against a decision allowing Sweden to have Mr Assange extradited.

                          While this is welcome news for Mr Assange and his supporters it needs to remembered that regardless of the outcome of this appeal, we should all hold significant concerns for his safety.
                          The US political, security and military establishment loathes Mr Assange and it will do whatever it takes to get its collective hands on the leader of an organisation which has caused profound embarrassment to the key superpower in the world today.

                          The US has taken a number of public steps, and who knows how many back channel manoeuvres, to suggest that it is planning a full scale prosecution of Assange in which the rule of law will be given short shrift, just as it has been at Guantanamo Bay.

                          While the grand jury process is secret, we have learnt about secret subpoenas to social media companies, non-US citizens and Google to obtain private information and the harassment of WikiLeaks associates, Jacob Appelbaum and David House amongst others.

                          Bartering in conspiracy theories is rarely wise; but on the face of this evidence, it is difficult to believe that the Obama Administration is not doing everything in its power to manufacture a charge against Assange and to ensure he lands on American soil so it can place him on trial.

                          The home of the brave and the land of the free does not have a good record when it comes to the treatment of its enemies. It routinely renders and tortures its enemies in secret prisons around the world or keeps them in inhumane conditions in the pocket of lawlessness that is Guantanamo Bay. Ironically, we have greater insight into this process because of what WikiLeaks has revealed and the subsequent analysis by journalists of this material.

                          The likely shabby treatment of an Australian citizen at the hands of the US is not something the Australian Government ought let lie. We ought surely to have learnt from the appalling treatment of David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, two Gitmo prisoners, that when Australia does not stand by its citizens when they are subjected to cruelty overseas we diminish ourselves as a nation.

                          Thus the Australian Government needs to step up to the task now. The Gillard Government can be in no doubt that the US will do its best to try to get Assange in front of an American court at some point. If our relationship is in any way as friendly and respectful as our leaders like to make out, we should be able to have a reasonable conversation about how someone like Assange will be treated.

                          The Gillard Government needs to recognise that the US is less of a friend and more of a bully on the matter of WikiLeaks. The US has held Bradley Manning, the man accused of leaking material to WikiLeaks in detention since May 2010 and for a significant portion of those 19 months in solitary confinement. Worse still, for the majority of time Manning has been detained he has had no knowledge of the charge against him. Such actions are plainly inappropriate and offend basic notions of decency. The rule of law is a foundational principle of a liberal democracy, not something to aim for or apply selectively; it should not be undermined because the powers that be find the actions of an individual profoundly embarrassing.

                          That the US will, if it can get away with it, treat Assange as shabbily as it has Manning is as obvious as it is that night follows day and it is for this reason the Gillard Government needs to assume, for the purposes of ensuring that its citizen is not subjected to torture and a kangaroo court, the position of a toe-to-toe combatant with the US rather than that of a supplicant on bended knee.

                          Of course it does not need to come to this. If Mr Assange were any other Australian citizen he would, once the Swedish process is completed (and assuming the sometimes wobbly Swedes don't allow the Americans to capture Assange), be welcomed home and allowed to go about his life.

                          Australians need to remember what it is Assange has done for our world. WikiLeaks has contributed immensely to our understanding of how our democracy works and has armed us with the knowledge and arguments to demand greater transparency from governments. We should not be bullied into silence when a supposed ally tries to persecute a WikiLeaks journalist for precisely this reason.


                          • #14
                            Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                            "... The US political, security and military establishment loathes Mr Assange and it will do whatever it takes to get its collective hands on the leader of an organisation which has caused profound embarrassment to the key superpower in the world today.

                            The US has taken a number of public steps, and who knows how many back channel manoeuvres, to suggest that it is planning a full scale prosecution of Assange in which the rule of law will be given short shrift, just as it has been at Guantanamo Bay.

                            Bartering in conspiracy theories is rarely wise; but on the face of this evidence, it is difficult to believe that the Obama Administration is not doing everything in its power to manufacture a charge against Assange and to ensure he lands on American soil so it can place him on trial.

                            The home of the brave and the land of the free does not have a good record when it comes to the treatment of its enemies. It routinely renders and tortures its enemies in secret prisons around the world or keeps them in inhumane conditions in the pocket of lawlessness that is Guantanamo Bay. Ironically, we have greater insight into this process because of what WikiLeaks has revealed and the subsequent analysis by journalists of this material..."

                            I find it rather interesting what has happened to the U.S. since 2001. For years American media and politicians would belittle their overseas peers for for 'over-reacting' to threats created by terrorism. Now we get groped if we travel by train or commercial air carrier. We are arrested if we balk and try to move against the tide as seen in the various 'occupy' movments. Our supposed constitutional right to free speech is under assault. Our government incarcerates people without right to legal representation or trial by jury; sometimes bullying erstwhile allies into handing over their citizens to our military courts...

                            The twenty hijackers who died on September 11, 2011 would have been proud. Besides gutting one wing of the Pentagon and two world trade center towers, they destroyed democracy in the United States....


                            • #15
                              Re: Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

                              Please check your dates.