Friday, December 03, 2010


Looking for WikiLeaks? Currently click here. Ravi Somaiya and Alan Cowell (New York Times) report, "An American provider of Internet domain names withdrew its service to the WikiLeaks Web site after a barrage of attacks by hackers that threatened to destabilize its entire system, according to the provider and WikiLeaks itself on Friday. But within hours, WikiLeaks said it had registered its domain name in Switzerland." The WikiLeaks Twitter feed has remained up:

  1. WIKILEAKS: Free speech has a number:
  2. You can also easily support WikiLeaks via
  3. WikiLeaks,org domain killed by US after claimed mass attacks KEEP US STRONG
  4. Pilger: The War You Don't See (interview on new film)

Victoria Ward (Telegraph of London) explains
, "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the development was an example of the 'privatisation of state censorship' in the US and is a 'serious problem'. [.. .] WikiLeaks has released a file that it dubbed its 'insurance policy'. The file is encrypted with a code that is so strong it is deemed impossible to break. It is said to be planning to release a key that unlocks the files if anything happens to the site or its founder, Julian Assange." Jane Wakefield (BBC News) adds, "The net appears to be closing in on Wikileaks as more and more companies it relies on distance themselves from it. Shutting down the main .org site will cause problems but it is by no means the end. Its Twitter feed remains defiant, urging fans to log on via its IP address with the tweet 'Free speech has a number:'. In some ways, any attempts to cut off Wikileaks could be a case of too little, too late."

As noted in Tuesday's snapshot, among the revelations in the batch of cables WikiLeaks relased was that the US government pressured the Spanish government to kill the case against the US military for killing journalist Jose Couso in 2003. Emma Pinedo (Reuters) reports, "Couso and Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian, were killed on April 8, 2003, when Sergeant Thomas Gibson, Captain Philip Wolford and Lieutenant Colonel Phil de Camp fired a tank shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. The Couso family has been campaigning for the three U.S. soldiers to be tried in Spain. They said the WikiLeaks revelations undermined the whole process. They are now working with their lawyers on how to proceed." Giles Tremlett (Guardian) adds, "Spain's governing socialist party and the opposition People's Party, both of which have been embarrassed by the cables, have remained tight-lipped. Socialist ministers have called the Madrid cables – which deal with US attempts to stop court investigations into torture at Guantánamo Bay, CIA rendition flights and the Couso case – as 'decontextualised' and 'partial'."

Meanwhile Leila Fadel (Washington Post) files guess work. I'm confused. Is this a column? Something may happen? May?

And what's your source? Ryan Crocker? No offense to Crocker but I'm not really sure how he's able to judge Iraqi reaction to WikiLeaks from the US. Did speaking last night at James Madison University somehow give him insight? I don't think Crocker's a useless source. I think, whether you agree with or him disagree with him, he has a solid take on what he observed while he was serving as the US Ambassador to Iraq. But that ended in early 2009. I'm unaware of how he's a go-to on the issue of this week's WikiLeaks release and its impact in Iraq.

Taking away Ryan Crocker, you're only left with one named person, Iraqi MP Sami al-Askari. Who denies the central thesis Fadel's floating.

Again, is this an opinion piece?

If this was just the angle to hang the story of Iraq's neighbors comments to the US government as revealed in the cables, it doesn't appear to be a strong one. Maybe it was what the US government wanted written. That wouldn't justify it as journalism but it would demystify the 'why' behind the writing of the piece.

The following community sites -- plus Diane Rehm, NPR, Socialist Worker and Jane Fonda -- updated last night and this morning:

Senator Byron Dorgan is the Chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and last night he gave a report on the DPC to Congress. We'll try to cover that in today's snapshot (if I'm unable to, I'll carry it over to Third). From the DPC's video page, this is Senator Debbie Stabenow speaking on "Help Unemployed Get Through Tough 'Times."

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oh boy it never ends