13 Dec 2010

Assange lawyer rips rape 'lies'

Julian Assange is innocent of rape and molestation charges, according to a Swedish sex-crimes lawyer who says secret police documents prove Assange's accusers lied about being coerced into sex with the WikiLeaks mastermind.
Bjorn Hurtig, who's representing Assange in Sweden, where the charges were filed, claims to have seen the papers and says they show the women had "hidden agendas."
As for WikiLeaks, its latest exposé could imperil a key US military supply route to Afghanistan.
State Department cables describe Uzbekistan as a nightmarish world of "rampant corruption," organized crime, torture and forced labor -- and say US diplomats coddle President Islam Karimov in return for his not interfering with the supply line.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/assange_lawyer_rips_rape_lies_D39DR2Bd75MOmrY6He1COJ#ixzz17znrc03S

WikiLeaks: world be warned

In the ongoing WikiLeaks debate, much has been said about various “rights” of parties. Rights to information, rights to publish, rights to release secret information, rights of WikiLeaks, rights of Julian Assange.
This is a one-sided debate, infused with heavy doses of emotion and self-righteousness. It is, however, a debate which totally ignores the realities that with rights come responsibilities and – most importantly – that every action taken in life bears consequences.
At the heart of the matter is a simple premise. A theft occurred. The stolen property was passed on by the thief to a broker (more correctly, as a person peddling stolen property, a “fence”). The fence then began to peddle stolen goods worldwide.
In the Wikileaks saga, the peddling is of stolen goods that are strategic in nature, the peddling of which has the potential to further destabilise already unstable regions or countries. It has also, without doubt, already directly caused loss of life (and will continue to do so), and provides no constructive purpose or benefit to anyone in the world – except extremist or terrorist organisations.
One view is that people have the right to view the Wikileaks’ published information due to a “universal right to information”. Does this mean, for example, that if an employee steals trade secret information from Apple on its upcoming product range, it is the right of the fence to publish it, (thereby passing on Apple’s trade secrets to its competitors)? Does it mean that if a person steals the confidential list of members of a gay club in, say, Zimbabwe (where being gay is a criminal offence), it is the right of the fence to publish it (thereby passing it on to the Zimbabwe police)? If so, would it mean that the people who recently secretly filmed a student having gay sex at an American university and then posted it online (causing the student who was filmed to commit suicide) were right to do so? Such assertions are at best nonsense, and at worst represent complicity in criminal conduct.
As to the very noticeable anti-American rhetoric accompanying these staunch (if logically void) defences of the indefensible: what short memories people have. Leaving aside the small issue of the Cold War – when many of the countries now railing against the US would be speaking Russian today if it were not for the US – let us look at more recent times.
How soon everyone seems to have forgotten that it was the US which, in the 1990s, came to the aid of the Bosnians (Muslims) after Europe had let them be massacred for years in the first concentration camps and genocide since World War Two. The US also did the same for the Kosovo Albanians (Muslims).
We won’t even go into the fact that it is the US which funds the majority of the UN’s bills, assists emerging market countries worldwide more than any other country, and is the largest single force for positive action in this world.
What if the primary superpower was a country like North Korea? Would they – as the Americans do – restrain their overwhelming financial, commercial or military power to enforce their will globally, or spend a hugely considerable part of their wealth on actions and organisations which promote stability, progress, development and constructive actions worldwide – without any direct benefit accruing to them as a result? Unlikely.
The direct comments in many of the leaked diplomatic cables merely reflect the duty of all diplomats of all countries – which is the practice of realpolitik. All countries practice realpolitik. It is at the core of all diplomacy. The primary consideration for any government or diplomat is the good of their own country and their own country’s population or economy, according to their own country’s perspective.
It has always been so, and it will always be so – because core human nature (upon which realpolitik is based) has altered very little over thousands of years.
Realpolitik can be ruthless and amoral – for reasons which are in the best interests of a country and its people. All countries practise this to varying degrees and always will. The primary differentiator between countries in the practice of realpolitik is that the higher the level of progressive outlook of a country, the higher the level that needs to be reached before amoral and ruthless actions are initiated. Conversely, the more dictatorial or regressive a country, the lower the threshold before ruthless or amoral action is taken.
As to the hero of the day – Julian Assange – I still don’t know in what capacity this adulation is bestowed. He did not act out of conscience (misguided or not – conscience is conscience). It was an American soldier – who is now in jail, and who does not enjoy international adulation, or defence funds paid for by celebrities – who acted.
I doubt this soldier will be pleased that Assange is using the information to cause such damage to the US.
As to the benefits of this information being placed in the public domain, the beneficial result is a neat round zero. At its lowest level, stealing and publishing the private personal comments made by professional diplomats is little better than a person stealing someone’s private e-mail correspondence and giving it to someone else to publish openly. It has the potential to ruin people’s lives and careers for little more than low-level titillation.
At worst, the release of this information will cause further destabilisation in unstable areas of the world, bring about loss of life and endanger people.
An example of this is North Korea. It recently attacked the South in an unusually provocative land attack. This was just before WikiLeaks revelations that the Chinese government will accept a reunified Korea with (South Korean) Seoul as its capital. Other leaks included disparaging remarks made by the Chinese Government about North Korea in general.
It is possible that the North Koreans obtained advanced notice of the Wikileaks release from a source and that this provoked them into the action.
The general North Korean populace faces famine every winter, during which hundreds of thousands of people (men, women and children) starve to death. Only in recent times has this suffering been reduced, because the country’s leaders began to allow food aid in from China and South Korea (including a lot of food sent by the US). Does anyone think it likely that this paranoid, unstable, dictatorial state will now allow the US or China or South Korea to send food in this winter (thereby increasing their leverage on the North Korean authorities) – after having learnt that all of these states are “plotting its demise” ? Not likely.
This is just one example of the results of unleashing the laws of unintended consequences through rash and reckless actions.
Another example: Does anyone really think the government of Iran will let pass the fact that the Saudi king asked America to “cut off the head of the snake”? The Iranian government will deliver some clear messages to Saudi Arabia, in a quiet and (as these things are usually done) deadly manner.
What of the people who live and work at the locations which have been published as being strategically vital to the US? Does anyone think of how they – ordinary people like you and I – will feel, knowing that they have now become primary targets for extremists ?
WikiLeaks’ release of information hasn’t harmed anyone? I think the people responsible had better start to grow up quickly.
The publication of this information has already set back international diplomacy in unstable regions, potentially escalated tensions in others (including in nuclear-armed countries) and exposed nations and their governments to potential threats. It has also caused loss of life and pinpointed potential targets for extremist groups. Not only this, it has done so among people and to countries and governments that are among the most pitiless and dangerous on earth.
Does anyone really think they will just let it lie ?
The reactions of the US government are the least of the concerns that those intimately involved should have. The Americans may be furious, but they will react using due process and try to effect legal action against the Wikileaks personnel involved. They are really not the problem.
The real problems are likely to originate from pitiless and dangerous societies, in the form of:
l Families or friends of people who have lost their lives or careers as a result of the leaks.
l Governments whose decades of work has been ruined, or who have been humiliated or put at extreme risk.
l Hardcore commercial interests (like Russian oil pipeline owners) whose property and revenue have now been put at risk by being openly classified as being in strategic US interest, and is now therefore a target.
The people intimately involved with the leaks have also inadvertently made themselves a commodity in this most dangerous of arenas. This is because it will potentially be in the strategic interests of various extremist organisations or governments to use these people – by taking their lives. They will know full well that the blame for such actions will be laid at the door of the US and embarrass or undermine that country.
This is the most dangerous possibility, because acts such as this are likely to be state-sponsored and therefore very difficult or impossible to prevent.
These are the people and entities that are the most unpredictable, and the most (potentially) dangerous. They never forget, they never forgive and they are as merciless as they are patient. Generally, they will exact such revenge as they see fit, not only on those that they (subjectively, and often illogically) deem responsible, but also on their families.
Strangely enough, the safest possible location for Assange at this time is probably the US, because they will keep him in custody, thereby protecting him. On his own, he is defenceless, as are those who are intimately involved with this matter.
Generally this arena is the preserve of senior diplomats, or members of a country’s intelligence agencies or Special Forces. There are strict rules and consequences in this arena.
This is the real world here, not a Gameboy or PlayStation world, or a Jason Bourne movie. It is a terrifying, merciless and deadly world if one gets on the wrong side of the wrong people, and it has no end, and no sanctuary.
Although I no longer do so, due to work pressures, I have advised many governments previously on geopolitical matters.
I was able to do this because a long time ago I was a Special Forces Operator, and I am fully familiar with diplomatic matters, geopolitical matters and the hidden world that the Wikileaks people have now inadvertently and unknowingly stepped into.
As a result of exposure to war a long time ago, I have spent a great deal of my later life engaging in humanitarian activities and encouraging dialogue over conflict. I also like and support young (non-violent) café latte revolutionaries too, as many of them grow up to be genuine forces for positive change or action in the world.
As such, I was an early supporter of WikiLeaks, but am no longer so; for what is happening now is not whistle-blowing. It is, rather, extremely destructive and dangerous behaviour for no good reason or purpose.
I have the faint hope that perhaps, someone involved in this matter may read this, and if they do, that they may listen.
What you are doing is wrong. It serves no positive purpose, and on the contrary, it is contributing to further destabilisation in dangerous and unstable regions of the world. It is also causing damage and much, much worse to real people and their families.
In my long ago career as a wartime Special Forces Operator, if I had been ordered to effect a mission which required doing that which you are currently doing, and knowing as I did (and do) the potential consequences to be visited upon persons who effect such destructive actions to such a wide variety of extraordinarily dangerous entities and persons on a global basis (and they will blame you, not the Americans) , I would have made my will and not looked forward to a particularly long existence thereafter.
Stop what you are doing. Just for a moment. And think of who and what you are (albeit unintentionally) potentially making your most serious blood enemies worldwide. Let your rational mind subordinate emotion. Think through what this could potentially mean for you and those close to you. For the rest of your life. Then stand up. Walk to the door. Open it.
And RUN.
l The writer is an international businessman who has been consulted by national and regional governments in various countries worldwide on geopolitical matters, as well as to national representatives of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

From: http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/wikileaks-world-be-warned-1.1000722

Sweden suicide bomber's British connections under investigation

Britain's security services were last night investigating the UK connections of the suicide bomber who struck Stockholm on Saturday night.
Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi-born Swede, who set off a car bomb in the Swedish capital before killing himself with a second bomb strapped to his body, had a BSc in sports therapy from the University of Bedfordshire in 2004, and had spent some time in Luton in recent years. Well-placed Whitehall officials confirmed the bomber's identity and his link to a British university.
Metropolitan police officers last night searched a property in Bedfordshire under the Terrorism Act 2000, the force said. It was reported last night that his family still lived in Luton and that neighbours last saw him two and a half weeks ago.
Tahir Hussain, 33, a taxi driver who lives nearby, told the Daily Telegraph: "I used to see him around often. He didn't say much but seemed nice. I used to see him walking with his kids.
"I was shocked when I heard what happened because I never thought he could do such a thing."
Scotland Yard said: "At 10.55pm last night, Metropolitan Police officers executed a search warrant under the Terrorism Act 2000 at an address in Bedfordshire.
"No arrests have been made and no hazardous materials found."
The search at the property was expected to resume later today.
Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, said he had travelled to Britain and Jordan in the runup to Saturday's attack, in which he was the only victim.
On an Islamic dating site, Muslima.com, where he was seeking a second wife, Abdaly, 29, listed Luton as his address, and said he met his first wife in Bedfordshire.
However, his car was registered in Sweden, and the motives declared in emails sent to a Swedish news agency and the security police, addressed local issues. The emails refer to a Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, whose 2007 drawing of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog infuriated Muslims around the world, and to Sweden's 500 soldiers in Afghanistan. "Now your children, daughters and sisters shall die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying," the email warned.
The car bomb caught fire but did not explode and caused minimal damage in a busy Stockholm shopping street. Only one of several bombs Abdaly had strapped to his body blew up, killing him but nobody else.
Sweden's prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, cautioned that no connection between the emails and the bombs had been proved. "We know that a man is dead. We know that a car exploded. We know that some threats has been given to the secret police and media," he said. "But we are not sure they are connected. And I think it's very important not to give final answers based on speculation."
British intelligence sources suggested Abdaly was one of an increasing number of individuals influenced by al-Qaida ideology who have spent time in the UK. However, they said there was no indication the bomber was directed by al-Qaida – he had probably planned his own attack.
The fact that the Stockholm attack failed suggests al-Qaida is not in a position to train its supporters properly, British sources said.
Terrorism experts suggested al-Qaida and its allies were increasingly favouring one-man attacks on targets of opportunity, rather than long-planned, sophisticated and spectacular assaults such as 9/11.
The vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University, Les Ebdon, said he would be urgently checking the registration records to verify whether Abdaly had attended.
He told the Guardian: "We have a harmonious campus and we haven't had any cases of terrorist or radical activities on campus since I've been vice-chancellor, around seven years. In the present world however I am not complacent about it."
The university was wrongly linked to one of the 7/7 bombers, reports of which resulted in public apologies from one newspaper. "We have experienced erroneous linkages before and we will certainly cooperate if this case is proved and any authorities want to speak with us," Ebdon said. "The impact is quite serious because it particularly damages our reputation abroad."

From: Guardian

WikiLeaks cables: MI5 offered files on Finucane killing to inquiry

MI5 has said that it is prepared to hand over sensitive files on one of the most high-profile murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles carried out by loyalist gunmen working with members of the British security forces.
The offer in the case of the Pat Finucane, the well-known civil rights and defence lawyer murdered in front of his wife and three young children in 1989, is contained in confidential US embassy cables passed to WikiLeaks.
Supporters of Finucane welcomed the revelation of the offer as "highly significant" and believe it could pave the way for a fresh inquiry into the killing that would be acceptable to the family.
Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland secretary, has told Finucane's widow that he will decide early next year whether to hold a hearing that could shine a new light on collusion between gunmen from the Ulster Freedom Fighters and members of the security forces.
A refusal to hold such a hearing, which Paterson has questioned in the past, would prevent an examination of the MI5 files.
Finucane's supporters spoke out after leaked US embassy cables, published by WikiLeaks, showed that:
• Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister between 1997 and 2008, told US diplomats that "everyone knows the UK was involved" in the murder.
• US diplomats feared that "elements of the security-legal establishments" in Britain beyond MI5 were fighting hard to resist an inquiry.
• Brian Cowen, the current Irish prime minister, warned that a failure to hold an inquiry could be a "deal breaker".
Finucane's family said MI5's offer was a highly significant development in their 20-year battle to uncover the circumstances surrounding the murder.
The Security Service's offer is revealed in a cable from June 2005, written by the US ambassador to Dublin, James C Kenny, which reported on a meeting between the head of MI5 and Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland. In an account of the meeting between Reiss and Ahern, the ambassador wrote: "Reiss briefed him on his talks in London, including with the head of MI5 [Eliza Manningham-Buller], who committed to turning over all evidence her agency has to the inquiry, but she was adamant that the inquiry will proceed using the new legislation."
Peter Madden, Finucane's partner in the Belfast solicitors' firm Madden and Finucane, said: "This might significantly change things. This is something new and unexpected. It will have to be considered by the Finucane family." Madden said the family would proceed with care because MI5 said any inquiry would be carried out under new legislation, which allows for material to be withheld from the final report. The family have demanded the same terms as the Bloody Sunday inquiry, but the legislation for that dated back to the 1920s and was repealed in 2005.
Madden said the family may change its mind in light of the MI5 offer. "Our stance has been that we want the inquiry but it's the way the inquiry is proposed that is difficult to be part of, if it's held under the 2005 Inquiries Act. We need to look very carefully at the cables. I think [it is] highly significant for the family and it might well change things."
Ahern told the US he was adamant that members of the British security forces were involved in Finucane's murder. The cable said: "The taoiseach said that the GOI wants the UK to provide evidence acknowledging its involvement in Finucane's murder and it wants to know how high in the UK government collusion went. He said if the UK were to provide the information, it would only grab the headlines for a few hours because 'everyone knows the UK was involved'."
A year earlier, US diplomats raised fears that some forces in British were determined to block an inquiry. A cable by the same ambassador on 26 July 2004 quoted Ahern as saying: "Tony [Blair] knows what he has to do." An explanatory comment inserted by the US ambassador noted: "Presumably, that the PM will have to overrule elements of the security-legal establishments to see that some form of public inquiry is held." The elements resisting an inquiry could be the old Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch and British military intelligence.
Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, a former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, concluded in a report in 2003 that members of the security forces had colluded in the murder of Finucane.
Several members of the UFF involved in the murder turned out to have been either agents or informers for the security services.
Meanwhile, Paterson told Geraldine Finucane that he has an "open mind" on whether to hold a public inquiry.
David Cameron told MPs in June – on the day he published findings of the £200m inquiry into the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings – that there would be "no more open-ended and costly inquiries into the past", though he added that each case would be considered on its merits.
In his letter to Finucane's widow, Paterson said that the factors influencing his decision would include: "the commitment made to parliament by the previous government in 2004", "the experience of the other inquiries established after the Weston Park commitments", "political developments", "the potential length of any inquiry" and "the potential cost of an inquiry and the current pressures on the UK government's finances".
"It is my intention to consider the public interest carefully and in detail at the end of the two month period for representations," he informed Geraldine Finucane, "and then take a decision after such consideration as to whether or not to hold a public inquiry into the death of your husband."
Officials in the UK believe a public inquiry would raise difficult questions for the military but not for MI5. To win MI5's support, Blair made two key changes to the legislation governing public inquiries to prevent investigation beyond the official files it has been granted.
Alex Attwood, an SDLP minister in the Northern Ireland executive, said last night he regarded the decision of Mitchell Reiss to highlight the MI5 offer as potentially significant.
"Mitchell Reiss very much understood and had the measure of London," Attwood said. "He was not going to buy a pig in a poke."

From: Guardian

WikiLeaks cable sticks the knife into Azerbaijan's first lady

The first lady of Azerbaijan has problems showing a "full range of facial expression" following "substantial cosmetic surgery, (done) presumably overseas," US diplomats say witheringly in US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.
In some of the cattiest comments to emerge from the leaked state department cables so far, diplomats shove the scalpel into Mehriban Aliyeva, the wife of Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev. The cable written in January examines Aliyeva's family, the influential Pashayevs, describing them as one of oil-rich state's "most powerful families".
Under the headline "A First Lady, Too, in Fashion", Aliyeva is dubbed more "fashion-conscious and daring" than the "average woman in majority-Muslim Azerbaijan". As well as substantial foreign cosmetic surgery, the first lady "wears dresses that would be considered provocative even in the Western world," it says.
"On television, in photos, and in person, she appears unable to show a full range of facial expression," it adds. The cable describes how in September 2008 Aliyeva and her two daughters hosted "second lady Lynne Cheney" – the wife of former US vice-president Dick Cheney. With exquisite bitchiness it recalls: "Prior to the Second Lady's arrival, while the three ladies were waiting for Mrs Cheney's car, one Secret Service agent asked 'which one of those is the mother?' Emboffs (embassy officials) and White House staff studied the three for several moments, and then Emboff said, 'Well, logically the mother would probably stand in the middle.'"
The same cable talks disparagingly of Azerbaijan's political elite. "Observers in Baku often note that today's Azerbaijan is run in a manner similar to the feudalism found in Europe during the Middle Ages: a handful of well-connected families control certain geographic areas, as well as certain sectors of the economy." These families "collude, using government mechanisms" to keep out foreign competitors, it asserts.
Despite being an MP, the president's wife appears "poorly informed about political issues", US diplomats tell Washington. Her family's vast business interests, meanwhile, include several banks, an insurance company, construction, travel, and – so far – Azerbaijan's only Bentley dealership. Her collection of contemporary art forms the basis of Baku's new museum of modern art, the cable adds.

From: Guardian

Assange Lawyers Prepare for U.S. Spying Indictment

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the man behind the publication of more than a 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables, could face spying charges in the U.S. related to the Espionage Act, Assange's lawyer said today.

"Our position of course is that we don't believe it applies to Mr. Assange and that in any event he's entitled to First Amendment protection as publisher of Wikileaks and any prosecution under the Espionage Act would in my view be unconstitutional and puts at risk all media organizations in the U.S.," Assange's attorney Jennifer Robinson told ABC News.
Robinson said they're hearing from lawyers in the U.S. that an indictment of Assange could be imminent.
Assange is already in custody in London on sexual assault charges including rape originating out of Sweden. He is being held in solitary confinement with restricted access to a phone and his lawyers, Robinson said.
"This means he is under significant surveillance but also means he has more restrictive conditions than other prisoners," she said. "Considering the circumstances he was incredibly positive and upbeat."
Justice Department officials declined to comment on the possible coming charges, but earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the release of the documents had put the United States at risk and said he authorized a criminal investigation into Assange.
"The lives of people who work for the American people has been put at risk; the American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that are, I believe, arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way. We are doing everything that we can," Holder said Tuesday. "We have a very serious, active, ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature. I authorized just last week a number of things to be done so that we can hopefully get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable, as they -- as they should be."
In response to widespread criticism of the sex crime charges, a lawyer for the two Swedish women accusing Assange said the charges are in no way politically motivated and the woman are angry at that suggestion.
"They were attacked by Mr. Assange and then they are treated like perpetrators themselves," attorney Claes Borgstrom told ABC News. "He has molested them and then sacrificed them for his own interests."
One woman accused Assange of sexually coercing her twice in August, including one time when he allegedly "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving... then had intercourse without a condom," according to prosecutors. The second woman claimed that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she slept.
Borgstrom told ABC News one of the women went to the hospital following one of the alleged attacks.
The timing of the arrest earlier this week led a Wikileaks spokesperson, Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens and hundreds of Assange's supporters to claim they were part of a political effort to marginalize the Wikileaks founder in the face of the massive document drop.
But Borgstrom said his clients were hardly against Wikileaks. Rather, the two were employed by Wikileaks and were in fact "admirers" of Assange's work.
"They want that there will be a trial so Julian Assange must answer to what he has done and so the world sees it's true and it really happened," Borgstrom said.
The accusations against Assange were previously dropped by one Swedish prosecutor before being picked up by another. When the accusations were read in a British court Tuesday, the judge said the case is "about serious sexual offenses on three separate occasions, involving two separate victims...extremely serious allegations."
Assange has denied the sex crimes charges and after his arrest, Stephens told ABC News Assange is ready "to vindicate himself and clear his good name."

Cyber Battle Explodes Over Wikileaks

Assange's detention appears to have sparked a cyber skirmish as his supporters targeted government and private websites that have taken action against Wikileaks, before some the supporters' own pages were taken down in return.
After a loosely affiliated group of computer users known as Anonymous declared Operation: Payback against several major websites like Paypal, Mastercard.com and Visa.com -- all companies who refused to process payments for Wikileaks -- and the Swedish government website, some of those sites went down for hours Wednesday. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told ABC Newsshe was among the victims of the attacks late Wednesday after she spoke out on Facebook against Assange.
"No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange's antics," Palin said in an e-mail to ABC News. "This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts."
For hours Mastercard.com was not operational once again, although service appears to have been restored.
"This is a way kind of to strike back and to say 'Hey, you can't push us around,'" Wired Magazine's Noah Schactman told "Good Morning America." "These retaliatory attacks really show that in today's, you know, super-networked world, that a very few number of people can have an outsize effect."
But then the so-called "hackivists" took their own cyber shots as several websites they were apparently using to organize the attacks, including Facebook and Twitter, were also taken down. The FBI is investigating the so-called Operation: Payback attacks, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press conference today.
A cached page for Anonops.net, a page that is currently down but had shown Anonymous' alleged plans, quotes the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which describes itself as the "first line of defense" against attacks on online freedom.
"The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops," EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow said in a tweet last week.
Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson told ABC News in an exclusive interview the refusal of service by Mastercard, Visa and Paypal amounted to an "outrageous" attack on freedom of speech.
"We are seeing growing support for us, especially in the last few days when we've had these outrageous attacks on us by companies that are bowing to political pressure from political forces in the United States," Hrafnsson said Wednesday. "We are getting seriously close to censorship in the United States and that must surely go against the fundamental values that the country is based upon."

Cables Target U.S. National Security Interests

One of the most recent cables leaked to anger U.S. authorities includes a list of installations vital to America's national security and interests.
U.S. government officials say that the diplomatic leaks have already had an effect on relationships with individuals and governments around the world.
"We have gotten indications that there is at least some change in how individuals and governments cooperate with us, and share information," said Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan, without providing any details. There's a vague "sense that there has been some pulling back because of these revelations."
Speaking a press conference Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the leak could "create potential dangers for our friends and partners."
In a February 2009 cable, American envoys were asked to identify sensitive places "whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States."
Clinton said she would not comment on "any specific cable," but said the theft of the cables was "deeply distressing."
Clinton then called on "countries around the world and businesses to assist us in preventing any of the consequences that could either endanger individuals or other interests internationally."
from: http://abcnews.go.com/US/assange-lawyers-prepare-us-espionage-indictment/story?id=12362315&page=3å

Teden svetovanja delavcem migrantom o življenju, delu in izobraževanju v Sloveniji

Od 13. do 17. decembra 2010 bodo v prostorih INFO točke za tujce, na Slovenski cesti 55 v Ljubljani, delavcem migrantom iz držav zunaj Evropske unije ter njihovim družinskim članom na voljo svetovalci z informacijami o življenju, zaposlitvi oz. delu in izobraževanju v Sloveniji.
Zavod RS za zaposlovanje (Zavod) – INFO točka za tujce in Ministrstvo RS za notranje zadeve (MNZ) – Direktorat za migracije in integracijo ob svetovnem dnevu migrantov organizirata Teden odprtih vrat INFO točke za tujce. Od 13. do 17. decembra 2010 bodo v prostorih INFO točke za tujce, na Slovenski cesti 55 v Ljubljani, delavcem migrantom iz držav zunaj Evropske unije ter njihovim družinskim članom na voljo svetovalci z informacijami o življenju, zaposlitvi oz. delu in izobraževanju v Sloveniji.
Svetovalci Zavoda, Direktorata za migracije in integracijo MNZ, Upravne enote Ljubljana, Centra za permanentno izobraževanje Cene Štupar, EURES – mreže evropskih javnih služb za zaposlovanje, Študentske svetovalnice, NCIPS - Nacionalnega centra za informiranje in poklicno svetovanje, Skupnosti centrov za socialno delo, Slovenske filantropije, Zveze svobodnih sindikatov ter predstavnika Veleposlaništev Bosne in Hercegovine ter Makedonije bodo delavcem migrantom ter njihovim družinskim članom v pomoč z informacijami o:
  • možnostih in pogojih za zaposlitev, delo in podjetništvo v Sloveniji;
  • postopkih in potrebni dokumentaciji za pridobitev vizuma, dovoljenjih za bivanje v Sloveniji ter ustreznih delovnih dovoljenj;
  • pravicah delavcev migrantov, izhajajočih iz delovnopravne zakonodaje;
  • možnostih poklicnega izobraževanja, dodatnega usposabljanja in učenja slovenskega jezika 
  • pomoči vladnih in nevladnih organizacij pri premagovanju administrativnih ovir.

Namen delovanja INFO točke za tujce, ki v okviru Zavoda deluje od maja 2010 ter na enem mestu nudi informacije in pomoč pri ureditvi delovnih in življenjskih pogojev v Sloveniji, je povečati možnost zaposlitve tujcev oz. delavcev migrantov. Svetovalci INFO točke za tujce so doslej informirali oz svetovali 4.050 osebam, med katerimi je bilo največ državljanov Bosne in Hercegovine, Srbije, Hrvaške, Makedonije, Kosova, Albanije in tudi držav Južne Amerike ter Pakistana in Indije. Največ vprašanj se je nanašalo na postopke za pridobitev delovnih dovoljenj, delovnopravno zakonodajo, prosta delovna mesta in možnosti učenja slovenskega jezika.
INFO točka za tujce je del projekta Ministrstva RS za delo, družino in socialne zadeve »Spodbujanje zaposljivosti, izobraževanja in socialnega vključevanja delavcev migrantov in njihovih družin«. Projekt sofinancira Evropska unija, in sicer iz Evropskega socialnega sklada.

WikiLeaks sheds new light on Slovenia-Croatia deal?

The Slovenian Opposition has continued challenging Prime Minister Borut Pahor's position that the border arbitration agreement with Croatia is a great success of his foreign policy, and following the publication of secret documents on the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, some Opposition leaders have said that papers on Slovenia show the government's servility in foreign affairs, all of which sheds new light on the deal between Pahor and Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor.
Slovenian People's Party (SLS) leader Radovan Zerjav said in a statement on Wednesday that he wondered why the arbitration agreement with Croatia took effect on Monday, immediately after it was announced that WikiLeaks would make public U.S. diplomatic messages, including reports made by U.S. diplomats in Slovenia.

"After being postponed for several months, the exchange of diplomatic notes (between Slovenia and Croatia) on the arbitration agreement was carried out suddenly late last week," Zerjav said, adding that the publication of documents might shed new light on the deal.

Earlier this week, after a report on communication between Pahor and the U.S. charge d'affaires Bradley Freden were published by the U.S. web site, Zerjav criticised Pahor for pursuing a "servile policy" towards the USA.

The report shows that Washington was involved in efforts to settle the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia and that the USA advocated the unblocking of Croatia's accession negotiations with the EU throughout 2009.

Also on Wednesday, Pahor dismissed the criticism, adding that historians would judge the agreement and that "filigree-style" diplomatic efforts were invested in the agreement.

He ruled out a worsening of relations with Croatia following the document leak.

Slovenia PM, US ambassador deny WikiLeaks cable on conditioned entry of Guantanamo inmate

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia - Slovenia's prime minister and the U.S. ambassador are denying a WikiLeaks cable suggesting he sought a meeting with President Barack Obama in return for accepting a Guantanamo inmate.
Borut Pahor said Wednesday he would be "ashamed" to make such a deal.
Mussomeli, said there was "no linkage, no deal and no quid pro quo" negotiated for Slovenia's potential assistance regarding Guantanamo.According to the cable, U.S. ambassador Joseph A. Mussomeli's predecessor reported that Pahor "unambiguously" linked the Guantanamo issue with meeting Obama.
Pahor also reportedly promised that a U.S. firm would build a potential new reactor at Slovenia's nuclear plant. He says he merely called on potential investors.

WikiLeaks Slovenia: Someone Never Learned To Read

‘What can Slovenia do to secure a meeting between Prime Minister Pahor and President Obama”‘ asked foreign minister Samuel Žbogar, exposes WikiLeaks
Slovenia is again a topic in the exposed secret US diplomatic documents and again the issue is the desire of Slovene PM Borut Pahor to meet US President Barack Obama
According to German Spiegel, foreign minister Samuel Žbogar was inquiring with US representatives as to what conditions must be met to make such a meeting hapen.”

This, more or less is the lead of today’s article on RTVSLO (state radio and television) website. This comes only a day after PM Borut Pahor called a press conference and denied allegations of horse-trading with the Americans, basically saying that a) yes, he’d like to meed Obama, b) would be glad to take in a Gitmo detainee regardless and c) he never linked anything to anything else, regardless of what the cable says and when (somewhat predictably, since it’s their document which is causing all this embarrassment) the new US Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph Mussomeli issued a written statement saying basically the same thing, adding that PM Pahor is an honest and honourable man. Someone’s lying.
Or, better yet, someone can’t really read. My money’s on the latter. The infamous Spiegel article has been around for at least 72 hours. Pengovsky was first alerted to it by alcessa. I linked to it again yesterday. It was then linked to again by Žiga Turk (a prominent member of opposition SDS). In short, this shit is old by internet standards.
Even more important, this is part of the same story. Half-wits at RTVSLO – well, their web section at least – for reasons that are known only to them infer that there was a second cable (Slovenia is again a topic… and the issueagain is…) which in addition to PM Pahor implicated FM Žbogar as well.
However, there is no “again” here. Not yet, anyhow. Der Spiegel, NY Times, El Pais and Guardian all worked with the same set of documents (the entire 250k+ batch) and they all saw it fit to expose Slovenia-US horse-trading. And save the sole cable posted yesterday by El Pais, none of the cables pertaining to Slovenia have been released by WikiLeaks yet. None. Zero.
Indeed it is still a mystery as to how exactly could they have arrived at such different conclusions: NYT reports US pressured Slovenia. No names are mentioned. El Pais reports Slovenia pressured the US and names PM Pahor and making no mention of FM Žbogar. And Der Spiegel reports Slovenia was horse-trading with the US but mentions Žbogar, omitting Pahor completely. But they all published their pieces on the same day, 29 November 2010 (three days ago), while the general public, which in this case includes Slovene media has yet to see anything more than a single cable from US Embassy Ljubljana. I know I’m repeating myself, but I can not stress this point enough.
To put it in the words of Al Pacino: We’re in the dark here!
Point being, web section of RTVSLO is either making things up or really has a problem reading and/or googling.
(again, many thanks to alcessa for the heads-up) - taken from http://www.pengovsky.com/2010/12/02/wikileaks-slovenia-someone-never-learned-to-read/