Tag Archives: WikiLeaks

Wikileaks Releases First Sections of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Today Wikileaks released the ploy that is the Trans-Pacific Parnership (TPP).

All these agreements on so-called “free trade” are negotiated outside the World TradeOrganization’s (WTO) framework. Conspicuously absent from the countries involved in these agreements are the BRICs countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Everything mentioned in today’s release supports the claims CDN has made that the TPP will only weaken America’s ability to compete and allow foreign companies to skirt regulations that U.S. manufacturers are forced to live with.

 

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

savebradley (CC)

savebradley (CC)


Bradley Manning, the source of documents leaked to WikiLeaks, was sentenced today to 35 years in prison. Additionally, he was demoted, and given a dishonorable discharge. As a result of his conviction on charges of theft, fraud, and espionage last month, the maximum sentence Manning could have received was 90 years.

USA Today reports:

The judge in the case, Army Col. Denise Lind, announced the sentence in a military courtroom in Fort Meade, Md.

Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence Manning to 60 years as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to leak secret documents.

“He betrayed the United States, and for that betrayal, he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement,” Capt. Joe Morrow had said during the sentencing hearing.

Manning’s defense had urged the military to sentence Manning, who served as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, to no more than 25 years in prison.

Manning leaked secret documents, which included battlefield reports and State Department cables, to WikiLeaks, which posted them on the Internet.

The U.S. government said his actions jeopardized U.S. interests and exposed informants and sources to danger. Manning’s defense painted him as a misguided idealist who opposed the war in Iraq.

“He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offenses,” defense attorney David Coombs said during the sentencing hearing. “At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference.”

In spite of WikiLeaks contending that this sentence is a kind of victory considering, Manning still received the longest sentence ever given for his crimes.

From Forbes:

Manning may be able to seek parole after serving one third of his sentence, and has already spent three years in jail since he was first identified as the source of the WikiLeaks releases. He was also credited with serving 112 days of his sentence after Judge Lind ruled that he was improperly treated during his detainment at a facility in Quantico, Virginia. That mistreatment included being kept in solitary confinement, forced to sleep naked nightly. Thanks to those possible shortenings of his prison term, WikiLeaks’ Twitter feed called Wednesday’s outcome a “significant strategic victory,” pointing out that he may be eligible for release in less than 9 years.

Even so, Manning’s sentence is far longer than any other Espionage Act prison term for releasing information to the media in U.S. history. “I don’t think there’s ever been a sentence remotely like this for a leak to the press,” says Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. “This is the longest sentence by far.”

As for what effect this case will have on the future of members of the military revealing information to the press or organizations like WikiLeaks, only time will tell. It is also likely that the debate over whether Manning himself was actually a traitor, or a whistle-blower will continue, perhaps for years to come. And another issue that will need to be addressed is how the military and intelligence agencies can make the information they manage more secure. While prosecutors in this case were hoping for the court to make an example of Manning, the fact remains that the military needs to re-assess the protocols it uses to protect information, from the manner in which they perform background checks of personnel, to work assignment and job descriptions. Manning was a very low-ranking member of the military. Whether or not people on that level should be left with the ability to take information from military servers in the first place needs to be addressed.

WikiLeaks’ Founder Julian Assange Recieves Asylum from Ecuador

Ecuador said Thursday that it will be granting asylum to WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. This decision, although good for the supporters of Assange, does little to defuse the growing standoff at the Ecuador Embassy in London, where Assange has been held up for two months claiming political persecution.

Julian Assange has been granted political asylum from Ecuador

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patino said he and Ecuador believes that Assange faces real political persecution, including the possibility of extradition to the United States, where Patino said he believed that Assange would not have a fair trial.

“It is not impossible that he would be treated in a cruel manner, condemned to life in prison, or even the death penalty,” Patino told journalists in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. “Ecuador is convinced that his procedural rights have been violated.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Britain said they are disappointed with the decision, but they are going to continue to try and perform their legal obligation of extraditing Assange to Sweden where he faces sexual assault charges.

Assange rose to ‘fame’ after his site, WikiLeaks, released huge amounts of top-secret U.S documents. This led to outraged Americans and calls to politicians to have Assange hunted down like a terrorist, so he can stand trial in America for his crimes.

Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual assault, but fears that Sweden and the United States are working together so he could ultimately stand trial in the U.S.

Ecuador Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patino

Sweden officials have claimed that two women have come forward and accused Assange of sexual misconduct, and they have denied that their actions of extradition are politically motivated. Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny declined to comment on the asylum decision by Ecuador.

When the decision was made that Assange was granted political asylum, there were cheers outside of the Ecuador Embassy from Assange supporters.

Assange remains in the Ecuador Embassy where he has been staying since June 19th, just days before he faced extradition to Sweden. British authorities pledge to arrest Assange if he leaves the Embassy. The investigation in Sweden and Britain is still ongoing.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisenloe

State Dept. Spokesman Crowley Resigns After Comments

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today accepted the resignation of the State Department Spokesman, P.J. Crowley.

Crowley had been critical of the Pentagon on the detention of Private Manning, the service member that illegally delivered thousands of United State secrets to WikiLeaks.  While attending an MIT event, Crowley responded to an audience question on the treatment of the accused traitor:

[O]ne young man said he wanted to address “the elephant in the room”. What did Crowley think, he asked, about Wikileaks? About the United States, in his words, “torturing a prisoner in a military brig”? Crowley didn’t stop to think. What’s being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense “is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” He paused.

A few minutes later, I had a chance to ask a question. “Are you on the record?” I would not be writing this if he’d said no. There was an uncomfortable pause. “Sure.” So there we are.[1]

During the Egyptian overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Crowley used twitter to say that Mubarak’s proposed actions were nothing more than a “reshuffle the deck chairs” – a reference to a popular Titanic euphemism. The White House expressed displeasure with the Spokesman as his comments had not been approved and were not appreciated.

P.J. Crowley seems to have misunderstood the role of a Spokesperson. It is not a role of one that wishes to affect policy or disseminate  opinion. The spokesperson is the mouthpiece of the entity which they represent – nothing more.

Mr. Crowley, what went down in your head.. [2]


Sources:
[1]- http://philippathomas.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/the-state-department-spokesman-and-the-prisoner-in-the-brig/
[2] – Lyrics – “Mr. Crowley” – Ozzy Osbourne