Today in WikiLeaks some newspapers are having a bit of fun with news of Assange’s doomsday cache of encrypted files he has promised to release if anything happens to him or his organization. As far as threat assessments go, it is hard to know what to make of this when sanitized and scrubbed of sensationalism and held up against the success and stumbles of the revolution, or lack thereof, Mr. Assange has started so far. Nothing he has done has proven an existential threat to the U.S. government but then again the U.S. government has failed to escalate retaliation beyond Interpol’s fugitive list and public, widely reported pressure on the Swiss government not to accept and provide shelter for Mr. Assange. Another day, another day the world turns…
3:25PM EST“Assange to Meet with British Police, Lawyer Says,” The New York Times
No way to just call up Julian’s daddy now and get him to apologize:
“Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear,” The New York Times
“Cyber Guerrillas Can Help U.S.” New America Foundation
Evgeny Morozov rightfully argues for restraint with the Aussie: “Mr Assange is more of a college sophomore still undecided about his major, than a man with a plan. There are two paths his creation could now take.”
On the Tenacious Tendencies of WikiLeaks and What It Has Awakened:
“Who will al Qaeda back in the 2012 elections?” Foreign Policy WikiLeaked Blog
“WikiLeaks provides few revelations but many resonant reminders. The reminders put into language stark enough to reawaken the senses information that we long ago knew but had repressed.”
Australia Will Still Take Him, He Belongs to Them Afterall:
And Hollywood will take him now, too (some are already calling for Neil Patrick Harris’, aka “Doogie Howser, MD,” first Oscar):
“WikiLeaks Founder Continues Morphing Into Movie Villain,” U.S. News and World Report
More on What the Hell to Do About It Besides Make Movies About It:
“Replace the Espionage Act,” Foreign Policy
“Twitter: We’re Not Censoring WikiLeaks, #Cablegate,” Fast Company
“We’ve seen this before. It seems whenever a controversial subject arises–the Israeli raid of the flotilla, for instance–the micro-blogging company is accused of playing some role in altering the trends. Twitter has told Fast Company several times that it does “not editorialize” its trending topics…”
The Swiss Are Refusing His Money:
“Julian Assange’s Swiss Bank Account Closed,” The Guardian
“PostFinance has ended its business relationship with … Julian Paul Assange,’ the bank said in a statement. ‘The Australian citizen provided false information regarding his place of residence during the account opening process.’ It said that although Assange had given his residence as an undisclosed address in Geneva, he could offer no proof of being a Swiss resident.”
MasterCard Will Not Touch It (Too Hot for MasterCard):
I think we can safely draw a conclusion for future users of the revolution manual: #1) Have your own, independent source of financial wealth. This in addition to a few more obvious points: #2) best to pick on someone your own size, #3) david versus goliath, goliath usually wins, #4) calibrate your action, be selective and critically make sure the system you are fighting is crumbling already from within so that external threats become existential ones.
The Gambling Man’s Tale:
“Bookies Are Taking Odds on Assange’s Fate,” Toronto Sun
“Al Jazeera Gets WikiLeaked,” Foreign Policy WikiLeaked Blog
“U.S. diplomats are accusing Qatar of ‘using the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera as a bargaining chip in foreign policy negotiations by adapting its coverage to suit other foreign leaders and offering to cease critical transmissions in exchange for major concessions.'”
Playing with Fire and Gas Fields and Lots of Other Dangerous, Flammable Stuff:
“Massive list of foreign infrastructure critical to U.S. released,” Foreign Policy WikiLeaked Blog
“A secret State Department cable released by WikiLeaks on Sunday, Dec. 5, provides in almost numbing detail a list of foreign critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) vital to the national security of the United States. Though there’s little in the way of analysis and no security information provided in the cable, it reads as a terrorist’s holiday wish list. The cable notes cobalt mines in Congo, munitions and chemical manufacturers in Germany, a smallpox vaccine plant in Denmark, Hitachi large electric power transformers in Korea, hydroelectric production in Quebec, and dozens of undersea cable landings around the world. It also includes strategically vital sea lanes such as Singapore’s Straits of Malacca and Spain’s Strait of Gibraltar; and key energy facilities, such as Russia’s Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction (‘the most critical gas facility in the world’) and Qatar’s Ras Laffan Industrial Center — which the cable notes is vital because by ‘2012 Qatar will be the largest source of imported LNG [liquified natural gas]to U.S.'”
Speaking of Which, EurasiaNet Asks Some Good Questions – Why Aren’t Most of These Sites What We Expected Them to Be:
“The U.S.’s Real Security Interests in Eurasia: Kazakh Chromite and Turkish Sheet Metal?” Eurasia Net
More fallout from the 2008 Georgia August War:
“NATO Balanced Baltic and Russian Anxieties,” The New York Times
This is dangerous: “Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had painful memories of Soviet occupation and feared that a resurgent Russia might come after them next. They began lobbying NATO, which they had joined in 2004, for a formal defense plan. But the request was a delicate one for NATO, an alliance obligated by treaty to respond to an attack on one member as an attack on all.” And yes, absolutely: “Latvians, at least ethnic Latvians, it said, ‘look at Georgia and think that this could easily be them.’”
I agree with Gary Sick, “If anyone is a master’s student in international relations and they haven’t heard of WikiLeaks and gone looking for the documents that relate to their area of study, then they don’t deserve to be a graduate student in international relations.” Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) it seems has gone about and done a reversal of earlier stated official policy. Carry on until otherwise instructed:
“Columbia University Reverses Anti-Wikileaks Guidance,” Wired.com
World Watch – The Americas:
“EE UU y Brasil colaboran en secreto contra los islamistas,” El Pais [in Spanish]
On Brazil’s “double discourse” concerning cooperation with the United States and the threat posed by violent, extremist Islamists, Hezbollah fundraising (Brazil has a large Lebanese community, if not the largest Lebanese diaspora community in the world that now counts the country’s President Elect Dilma Rousseff), with operations concentrating primarily in the city of Sao Paolo.
A translation of an earlier posted article on the U.S. Embassy Madrid keeping an eye on Baltasar Garzon:
“Worried Washington had eyes on Garzón,” El Pais in English
Finally, for a little historical refresher:
“Revolution: A User’s Manual,” New York Public Library, April 28, 2006
Adam Michnik, Baltasar Garzón, Gioconda Belli, G. M. Tamás, and Christopher Hitchens, moderator.
All the days of “Cablegate,” related posts:
“Lots of Traffic Today for WikiLeaks Coverage,” December 3, 2010.
“The Day in Cablegate: As the World Turns…” December 3, 2010.
“Shown Trial,” Fortnight Journal, November 26, 2010.
“Baltasar Garzon at the Instituto Cervantes, Chicago,” PhotoShelter Archive, February 22, 2010.
“Raging Against the Machine,” Foreign Policy, January 19, 2010.