Monday, October 28, 2013

The Least Secretive Of Nations Is The Strongest Of Nations Update-1

Originally Published November 28, 2010; Last Updated October 28, 2013; Last Republished October 28, 2013:

A new batch of diplomatic traffic released by Wikileaks reads like source notes from a Bob Woodward tome1.


UPDATED 08/02/2012 ProPublica, Washington’s War on Leaks, Explained

It's unclear how the currently proposed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 §503-512 will addresses any fundamental issues related to our dysfunctional and baleful system for classification of information (e.g. erosion of credibility, integrity, transparency, and democratic governance etc.).

In fact many of the proposed sections may have the fortunate, but unintended effect of increasing leaks as our dysfunctional and baleful system for classification continues eroding credibility, integrity, transparency and democratic governance.

Some of the sections border on the comic and absurd, like requiring those responsible for our dysfunctional and baleful system for classification to provide:
"...(3) a description of actions that could be taken to address improper classification of material."
Senator Feinstein likely means well...she may think she's the first to make this request or attempt to reform our completely dysfunctional and baleful system of classification?

Perhaps §503-512 can be replaced with a single section reading
"Not later than 365 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National Information Declassification shall declassify all classified information held by the United States of America and publicly publish same on Wikileaks-like or equivalent platforms."
Our newly created National Information Declassification Agency can oversea our speedy transition (no reason to take two decades and untold leak prosecutions) to transparent democratic governance, plus address the bazillion pleas of "this cannot possibly be declassified because [fill in the most harrowing story you can imagine]".

UPDATED 02/12/2012 CRS, Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective On Secrecy and Transparency (pdf courtesy FAS, Secrecy Blog)

"...To conclude, representative government requires transparency. It is a paramount value in democratic systems if there is to be government of, by, and for the people. As the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States declares, it is “We the People” who constitute the nation’s ultimate sovereign authority...."--A Perspective On Secrecy--
Those equating national security with secrecy diminish our constitution at best and subvert it at worst.

Therefore, we must reject efforts to substitute government national security with secrecy for transparency and demand that our government continuously transition toward total transparent governance, with all diligent speed.

Thereafter, our debate can focus on solving the problems and concerns, which impede or slow the transition—not on whether transparent governance can generate existential threats.

UPDATED 02/11/2012 NIU, Who Watches the Watchmen? The Conflict Between National Security and Freedom of the Press (pdf)

National Intelligence University, Who Watches the Watchmen? is a Wikileaks white paper of sorts. Who Watches the Watchmen (W3) explores the plethora of past leaks to advance a thesis that rational choice theory may be useful in reducing the perceived harm resulting from an assumed conflict between national security and freedom of the press.

Unfortunately, W3 suffers from failing to first address the fundamental question of whether secrecy or transparency is a superior method for sustaining orderly, responsible, stable, secure and modern civil societies. W3 simply asserts axiomatically the superiority of secrecy, assigns some perceived harm to the leak(s) and then proceeds to apply rational choice theory to mitigate that harm.

W3 is neither original nor rigorous and suffers from drinking its own Kool-Aid. That said, the nascent efforts of our National Intelligence University to rigorously study secrecy, transparency and national security is urgently needed and most welcomed.

When examined rigorously national security, freedom of the press and transparency may be synonymous. If so, Wikileaks platforms are an optimal solution for every orderly, responsible, stable, secure and modern civil society.

UPDATED 04/25/2011 Wikileaks, The Guantanamo Files.

Official dossiers for 700+ Guantanamo detainees between the period of 2002 and 2008—separate multimedia document presentations have been provided by a joint NYT-NPR project and Guardian.

Witness List: Abbe D. Lowell, Kenneth L. Wainstein, Geoffrey R. Stone, Gabriel Schoenfeld, Thomas S. Blanton, Stephen I. Vladeck, and Ralph Nader
"...And during the Cold War, as Americans were whipped up to frenzy of fear of the “Red Menace,” loyalty programs, political infiltration, blacklisting, legislative investigations, and criminal prosecutions of supposed Communist “subversives” and sympathizers swept the nation. Over time, we have come to understand that these episodes from our past were grievous errors in judgment in which we allowed fear and anxiety to override our good judgment and our essential commitment to individual liberty and democratic self-governance. Over time, we have come to understand that, in order to maintain a robust system of democratic self-governance, our government cannot constitutionally be empowered to punish speakers, even in the name of “national security” without a compelling justification."--Statement of Geoffrey R. Stone-- (footnotes excluded)

Our talented and capable Secretary of State significantly overstates the case against transparency—transparency "attacks" nothing...

Our Secretary sets the bar too low when implying that transparency is only necessary to expose [government] wrongdoings or misdeeds.

Transparency is necessary to ensure responsible government—when coupled with an accurately informed and engaged citizenry it then becomes sufficient for ensuring responsible government.

As transparency becomes our default for all responsible governments, including diplomatic functions, expressions of "great concern", such as that expressed by our Secretary will apply to opaqueness instead of transparency2.


UPDATED 12/16/2010 Wikileaks, Hash #Wikileaks
UPDATED 12/07/2010 Wikileaks


UPDATED 10/24/2011 Wikileaks focuses on raising funds with a spoof and description of its very important and next generation mission:


Our government's opaque logic is difficult to understand. Is our government asserting individuals cannot be transparently governed? Or that it is incapable of transparent governance? Or that individuals must be transparent with respect to their government instead of their government transparent with respect to those individuals?

UPDATED 04/12/2011

"...Today something has changed, reality is no longer what governments and their echoes in the media say it is. Of all the spectacular revolts across the world, the most exciting and hopeful is the insurrection of knowledge. Much of it sparked by Wikileaks...."--John Pilger, Sydney Peace Foundation Forum--
It's not without significance that our own nation has "leaked" from its very beginning. John Jay, our first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice returned with the newly negotiated treaty of peace with England, known as the  Jay Treaty

The treaty caused no small controversy between the Federalist and Republican factions of our nascent nation. President Washington sought to keep the Jay Treaty secret while his Federalist faction obtained senate ratification.

The Jay Treaty was leaked to the media and promptly printed. Treaty proponents (Federalists) hurled allegations of anti-patriotism at opponents calling for the revocation of their American citizenship and deportation. Treaty opponents (Republicans) hurled charges of counter-revolution and secret monarchist cabals at proponents.

UPDATED 12/09/2010 Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald discuss the strange Swedish sex saga and Interpol's atypical use of its most wanted list to aid Swedish questioning of Assange; some are speculating that the Swedish-Interpol sex saga is nothing more than a political prelude to fig leaf rendition and Guantánmozation of press, speech, and dissent. 

Democracy Now, from December 07, 2010 Transcript, Glenn Greenwald6 (9:04):
    "...Well, I just want to underscore how alarming everything is that you just described, both in that report and in your earlier one, which is, whatever you think of WikiLeaks, they’ve never been charged with a crime, let alone indicted or convicted. And yet, look at what has happened to them.
    They’ve been essentially removed from the internet, not just through a denial of service attacks that are very sophisticated, but through political pressure applied to numerous countries. Their funds have been frozen, including funds donated by people around the world for his—for Julian Assange’s defense fund and for WikiLeaks’s defense fund. They’ve had their access to all kinds of accounts cut off. Leading politicians and media figures have called for their assassination, their murder, to be labeled a terrorist organization. What’s really going on here is a war over control of the internet and whether or not the internet can actually serve what a lot of people hoped its ultimate purpose was, which was to allow citizens to band together and democratize the checks on the world’s most powerful factions. That’s what this really is about. It’s why you see Western government, totally lawlessly, waging what can only be described as a war on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange outside the bounds of any constraints, because that’s what really is at stake here. If they want to prosecute them, they should go to court and do it through legal means. But this extralegal persecution ought to be very alarming to every citizen in every one of these countries, because it essentially is pure authoritarianism and is designed to prevent the internet from being used as its ultimate promise, which is providing a check on unconstrained political power...."--Glenn Greenwald--

UPDATED 12/07/2010

UPDATED 12/07/2010


UPDATED 08/19/2012 NYT Lede, Video of Assange’s Speech at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London

Includes video and link to text link of Assange comments and video of Baltasar Garzón comments.

UPDATED 02/12/2012 FAS Secrecy, Leaks, National Security, and Freedom of the Press Aftergood post on Gary Ross's Who Watches the Watchman.

UPDATED 12/09/2011 FAS Secrecy, When Does Public Disclosure Make Secrecy Moot?

Aftergood makes the obvious point that neither Afshar nor Fitzgibbon is applicable when the public domain document is a mirror image of the document the government seeks to withhold—stated differently the document is self-authenticating, without government involvement.

Additionally, neither Afshar nor Fitzgibbon seem robust enough for today's cyber environment. For example suppose Iran intercepts an RQ-170 Sentinel drone and posts a video of the drone to the Internet, does the drone's reduced angles shape remain classified? How about if the talented Iranians reverse engineer the drone and publish the detailed drawings? How about when China downloads the Iranian's drone drawings, builds, and offers for sale the "personal RQ-170p drone kit"? How about when an American buys a personal RQ-170p drone kit and uses it to track the authorities?; publish online traffic reports?; produce surveillance reports? etc.

UPDATED 06/19/2011 FAS Secrecy, Govt Opposes Attorneys’ Free Use of WikiLeaks Documents. Publicly leaked classified documents are not authentic until we say they are, so says our government. The most disappointing aspect of the above assertion is not the lack of objective evidence supporting its accuracy—the impacts of leaked documents are often independent of any government authenticity or inauthenticity acknowledgement or even awareness. More disappointing is the implicit premise underlying our government's assertion—continued opaque governance10.

UPDATED 04/12/2011 PBS MediaShift, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, NY Times Feud at Logan Symposium How long before our government routinely cautions its spokespersons to read Wikileaks before conducting their media briefings?

UPDATED 02/07/2011 FAS Secrecy Blog, Accessing WikiLeaks Violates Espionage Act, USAF Says9. United States Air Force Materials Materiel Command offers shocking, if prematurely preemptive "guidance" on Wikileaks, via their official website:
UPDATED 12/15/2010 Columbia Journalism Review, Columbia J-School Speaks Out Against WikiLeaks Prosecution. Includes a link to the full text of the letter.
    "As a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves."--Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism faculty members and officers signing letter--
    It's unclear why our leadership is so eager to surrender our nation's strategic, comparative, and competitive advantage in the transparent press, speech, association, and dissent space. Transparent press, speech, association, and dissent space are vital for the future stability and growth of all nations. We must use the current Wikileaks disclosures and any future disclosures to teach (by example) other nations how to govern with maximum government transparency. Leak prosecutions are inconsistent with this objective or maximum government transparency.
UPDATED 12/14/2010 Michael Moore, Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange. Said only as American Michael Moore can say it—fortunately, courage is as contagious as kowtowing:
    "You [our government] simply can't be trusted"--Michael Moore--
    "5. I support Julian, whom I see as a pioneer of free speech, transparent government and the digital revolution in journalism...."--Court Statement of Michael Moore--
UPDATED 12/14/2010 Guardian Blog, Julian Assange granted bail: live updates. Blogger Twittering Live from inside the courtroom.


UPDATED 10/28/2013 VoiceOfRussia , Free Snowden: JSPDF Launches Website to Fund Whistleblower’s Defense Campaign

Our government's unmeasured and unconstrained psychotic pursuit of secret surveillance initiatives undermines and threatens both our democracy and its foundational First Amendment.

Only after the intervention of a courageous young whistleblower, competitive China and cantankerous Russia has some of our government's representatives begun to acknowledge that our government's secret surveillance initiatives require constraints.

Our government representative's acknowledgement that our its secret surveillance initiatives require constraints is a good beginning. However, the required constraints must be coupled with government transparency, but that will require the intervention of our increasingly concerned citizenry.

UPDATED 10/26/2013 USAToday, Anti-NSA rally attracts thousands to march in Washington and Reuters, Protesters march in Washington against NSA spying
UPDATED 08/01/2013 WP, WikiLeaks full statement on Snowden’s being granted asylum by Russia
UPDATED 06/23/2013 NYT, WikiLeaks Says It Is Working to Negotiate Asylum in Iceland for Snowden
UPDATED 05/06/2013 SacBee, Secrecy shrouds pretrial hearing in WikiLeaks case

It's unclear if the court is simply perpetuating the illogical and absurd fiction of shielding documents (and related testimony) that are already in the public domain?

UPDATED 04/11/2013 UPI, Bin Laden Strike Team Member May Testify At Court Martial

It's speculative and highly prejudicial for the court to permit the prosecutor to associate information on a Bin Laden compound computer, the  leaker (defendant), and an assumed Wikileaks source—it seems more indicative of a cheap ploy to imply guilt by association.

On the positive side the required association implies a "harm requirement", which may presage an impossibly high bar for the prosecutor to surmount requiring the dropping or acquittal of the (over|mis)charges.

UPDATED 03/01/2013 NYT, Soldier Admits Providing Files to WikiLeaks

Manning admits leaking logs describing our decade long war debacles and dissociates his leak decision from Wikileaks.

So, our government should credit custodial time, apologize for custodial mistreatment (some might say degrading and inhumane treatment, assuming sleep deprivation and isolation fell short of torture), drop the remaining (over|mis)charges and release Manning.

Unfortunately our leakers must sometimes await history to confound the "harm" (some might say harmful) pronouncements of our secrecy proponents and prognosticators—in the meantime it will be helpful for our government to ceases its prosecution of leakers and move with all diligent speed to totally transparent governance.

UPDATED 09/28/2012 Reuters, Assange mocks Obama via video at U.N. event and BBC, Julian Assange: Amnesty calls for Swedish assurances

UPDATED 08/24/2012 SMH, UK lays out police tactics over Assange How apropos that the document is confidential.

UPDATED 08/17/2012 FP, How WikiLeaks Blew It

The article is not particularly insightful and certainly not the quality one expects and often reads in Foreign Policy.

All articles on Wikileaks can assume or stipulated: that Wikileaks has focused on our government; that our government is not currently appreciative of Wikileaks or Assange's efforts; that other governments often are not appreciative of some actions taken by our government; that most governments will typically prefer to push back rather than publicly explain its private activity; and that Wikileaks and Wikileaks-like platforms can always improve their publishing functions.

OK, now begin your article here. An individual with the capacity and courage to resist and endure the onslaught of government push back is rare and by definition interesting, whether you agree with or support that individual.

Our democracy, government transparency and speech rights will not improve by chanting condemnation of those working to improve all three.

UPDATED 08/17/2012 UPI, World Court appeal if Assange exit blocked

It's easy to forget that all the extraordinary governmental hysteria, maneuvering and hyperbole is about asking an individual some questions related to his sexual activity.

It's as if our Secret Service instead of flying down and talking to the Colombian prostitutes about their activity with those responsible for guarding President Obama, which they wisely did, instead: called Interpol for a "Red Alert" on the prostitutes; requested Columbia to hold and extradite the prostitutes; took to the media to denounce the prostitutes and prostitution as threats to our national security; forbid all their agents from reading press accounts of the scandal; and inquired of DOJ about charging the prostitutes with espionage!

UPDATED 08/16/2012 NYT, Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain
UPDATED 08/16/2012 Reuters, Britain says Assange asylum wouldn't change a thing
UPDATED 08/07/2012 ThomsonReuters, U.S. appeals ruling against military detention law

Interesting recall of the judge's query over the scope of provision she enjoined,  §1021, National Defense Authorization Act.
"In issuing her ruling, the judge said she was worried by the government's reluctance at a March hearing to say whether examples of the plaintiffs' activities - such as aiding the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in the case of Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of parliament in Iceland - would fall under the scope of the provision."
UPDATED 07/30/2012 Reuters, Assange's mother says WikiLeaks founder under stress and Ecuador says WikiLeaks' Assange hires Spanish jurist Garzon

UPDATED 07/23/2012 UPI, Assange explains [Ecuadorean] embassy move

UPDATED 07/05/2012 AuHeraldSun, WikiLeaks publishing Syria emails as Ecuador says Assange charges ‘hilarious'

It seems beyond dispute that transparency increases the convergence rate for dispute resolutions—if so, one then wonders why governments must be dragged kicking and screaming toward transparency?

UPDATED 06/19/2012 BBC, Wikileaks' Julian Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador embassy
UPDATED 05/30/2012 British Supreme Court, Julian Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority British Supreme Court has ruled that Assange can be extradited to Sweden but has stayed the extradition authority for 14 days pending any request for reopening the case.

Whatever the interpretation given to the phrase "judicial authority" in international treaties it must not moot due process by equating or conflating "judicial authority" with "prosecutorial authority".

Hopefully, any rehearing on reopening will ensure judicial and prosecutorial authority are not conflated or equated.

UPDATED 04/06/2012 SF Examiner, Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies [Documentary Review] Below is a short SXSW video interview with the documentary's director:

UPDATED 04/06/2012 Rolling Stone, Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview

UPDATED 02/03/2012 EPIC, EPIC Files Suit for Documents Detailing Surveillance of WikiLeaks Supporters

UPDATED 02/02/2012 UPI, Assange extradition hearing concludes

UPDATED 12/07/2011 EFFCablegate One Year Later: How WikiLeaks Has Influenced Foreign Policy, Journalism, and the First Amendment

UPDATED 12/03/2011 WP, WikiLeaks founder Assange appealing for UK’s highest court to halt extradition to Sweden

UPDATED 11/05/2011 TTBook, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Anne Strainchamps conducts a telephone interview with Assange about Wikileaks--raising some interesting questions and responses with implications for our democracy.

UPDATED 11/02/2011 NYT, WikiLeaks Founder Can Be Extradited to Sweden in Sex Abuse Case

UPDATED 10/24/2011 Reuters, WikiLeaks says "blockade" threatens its existence

UPDATED 07/09/2011 Reuters, Exclusive: WikiLeaks loses Icelandic financial lifeline.

WoW that was fast! The basis for this potentially harmful corporate coordination denying access to international financial clearing entities remains unclear?

The corporate coordination becomes baleful if it's discovered that our government is directly or indirectly or officially or unofficially extra judicially involved in trying to extinguish that which criticizes or decries it.

Often the coordination is the result of subtle government actions: a private phone call; lunch discussion; a question about the value of government contracts; patriotic appeal; contract cancellation or award to competitor; declining an interview; denying access; arrest and perp walk; press conference explicitly or implicitly communicating government displeasure; etc.

UPDATED 02/29/2011 NYT, Detainees’ Lawyers Can’t Click on Leaked Documents.

Wonder if a detainees' lawyers can enjoy a cup of coffee while listening to an uncleanuncleared lawyer read the leaked documents aloud?

One wonders how effective any lawyer is if our government has the ability to proscribe access to information, any information?

Shouldn't our government's responsibility be to ensure access to information? Presumably the "cleared" detainees' defense lawyers could be "read in" to the relevant programs governing the documents our government is pretending are still classified?

In any event our government's decision to pretend that leaked Wikileaks documents are still classified may provide more comic entertainment than the recently replaced color coded threat level system.

UPDATED 02/07/2011 NPR, Professors Differ On Ethics Of Using WikiLeaks Cables.

It seems short sighted and illogical for a professor of the diplomatic arts to deprive our future Georgetown University diplomatic students of any benefit from the Wikileaks cables because of a personal belief that a diplomatic cable is stolen.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a stolen diplomatic cable should not be used, as Georgetown University Professor Marc Grossman asserts.

Such an assertion significantly blinds our nation's talented diplomats (as demonstrated by some Wikileaks cables) and by extension our policymakers, both of whom routinely consume stolen diplomatic cable traffic.

UPDATED 01/16/2011 Aftenposten, Iran in secret pursuit of nuclear bomb.

Aftenposten (Norwegian) has culled some of the Wikileaks cables to report that Iran has been on a shopping spree to acquire the technology, equipment and raw materials needed to develop a nuclear bomb.

Unfortunately, some companies in various nations have witting and unwitting filled purchase orders: South Korea, China, Spain, Japan, Namibia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, North Korean, Taiwan, Brazil, Spain, Sweden8, Switzerland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, India, Turkey, Germany, Ecuador, Canada, Netherlands, USA, United Kingdom, Austria, Malaysia, Russia8, Pakistan8, Syria8, France8, Italy8, Macedonia8, Armenia8 and the Emirates8.

UPDATED 01/14/2011 Mail, 'First Wikileaks Revolution': Tunisia riots blamed on cables which revealed country's corruption and About, Wikileaks Cable: Tunisian Corruption and President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and NYT, Chaos in Tunisia as President Flees.

Perhaps our government can assist the Tunisians with recovery of all or a portion of the estimated $5 billion dollars reportedly looted by the former president.

UPDATED 01/09/2011 Guardian, Iceland summons US envoy over demand for MP's Twitter details. In addition to First Amendment speech and press rights the subpoena implicates association rights with nothing more than a simple government assertion that relevant information is sought. Social networking sites like Twitter®, Facebook®, and Google® collect comprehensive time-series link data, which reveal associations when analyzed with modern software tools.

    "Internet freedom 'has always coexisted with the rule of law' and 'does not mean that the Internet can be used to harm others,'”--NYT quoting State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley--
    It's not unusual for authoritarian regimes or democratic governments behaving in an authoritarian manner to conflate or commingle "rule-of-law" with "rule-by-law". It's often the case that those attempting to apply rule-by-law will use disjointed and non-sequitur logic like:
    "X has always coexisted with the rule-of-law;that does not mean you can do Y."
    Of course, all attempts to commingle or conflate rule-of-law with rule-by-law must be subjected to heightened scrutiny. This is particularly so when such commingling or conflation occurs in the context of the conduct of war where rule-of-law is most in jeopardy. [* Thesubpoena (courtesy of Salon) was issued by Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division and required only a simple assertion that relevant information was sought. In the absence of traditional judicial oversight under the heightened probable cause standard the need for transparency is great. It does not speak well of our government that when the need for transparency is great it seeks greater opaqueness.]
UPDATED 01/08/2011 Guardian, WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas and BBC, US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists.

Shifting governments away from their opaque ways will require more that Wikileaks or Twitter, but all substantive shifts or changes begin with just one individual.

The substantive shifts or changes will always generate strong push back in proportion to its substance—no push back, no change of substance. We are fortunate that there are individuals capable of enduring the push back—without them shifts and changes would be much slower or not occur.

How wonderful that it's our modern social networks leading the substantive shift to government transparency.

UPDATED 12/20/2010 Walkleys Foundation, Australian Media's Finest Defend Wikileaks.

Open letter (pdf) to Prime Minister Julia Gillard:
    "...The volume of the leaks is unprecedented, yet the leaking and publication of diplomatic correspondence is not new. We, as editors and news directors of major media organisations, believe the reaction of the US and Australian governments to date has been deeply troubling. We will strongly resist any attempts to make the publication of these or similar documents illegal. Any such action would impact not only on WikiLeaks, but every media organisation in the world that aims to inform the public about decisions made on their behalf. WikiLeaks, just four years old, is part of the media and deserves our support. ...It is the media’s duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession. To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press."--Signers Walkley Foundation Open Letter Re: Wikileaks--
UPDATED 12/16/2010 Guardian, Julian Assange bail decision made by UK authorities, not Sweden 

Interestingly, the CPS [Crown Prosecution Services] appealed the Assange bail grant.

Swedish authorities have indicated they have no involvement in the bail appeal and take no view on bail. The statement by Swedish authorities was confirmed by CPS.

    "My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have expressed. This circumstance shall not shake them....If anything this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct....We now know that Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and others are instruments of US foreign policy,....It's not something we knew before....I am calling for the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral attacks....As a mother, I'm asking the world to stand up for my brave son."--Australia's 7News and Sunshine Coast Daily quoting Ms. Assange quoting her son's statement from a British jail and her reaction to his statement--
UPDATED 12/11/2010 NPR, WikiLeaks' Payment Processor To Sue Card Companies. It's of course shocking and of concern when any private corporation interferes with citizens' press, speech, or association rights based on government hysteria (has the hysteria driven Iraq and Afghanistan War debacles taught us nothing).

Our private corporations should not be able to do on behalf of our government7 what our government cannot do itself, assertions of State Secrets notwithstanding. Perhaps a lawsuit can explore whether Visa®, MasterCard®, et al's actions can or should be imputed to our government, then seek class status on behalf of those whose constitutional rights have been trampled in the hysteria?

UPDATED 12/09/2010 Sydney Morning Herald, Geoffrey Robertson to defend Assange.

Additionally, Australia Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said Assange will be provided citizen consular support. Australia has been previously criticized for its lack of support for Assange, an Australian citizen.

    "WikiLeaks is operational. We are continuing on the same track as laid out before. Any development with regards to Julian Assange will not change the plans we have with regards to the releases today and in the coming days."--Guardian quoting WikiLeaks spokesman, Kristinn Hrafnsson--
    "I make no judgment of Julian Assange as an individual as I have never met him. I am offering my support to him as I believe in the universal right to freedom of information and our right to be told the truth."--Guardian quoting Socialite and Charity Fundraiser Jemima Khan--
    "I think the work he has done has been a public service. I think we are entitled to know the dealings of those that govern us."--Guardian quoting film-maker Ken Loach--
UPDATED 12/03/2010 VOA, Sweden Issues Second Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks' Assange.

Swedish prosecutors' strange sex saga gets stranger...Interpol Red Alert for a person whose whereabouts is known; whose attorney is contacting prosecutors and consenting to questioning; who's not charged with a crime; whose extradition is not sought; whose arrest warrant was issued, withdrawn, reissued, and re-reissued; whose condom reportedly broke during consensual sex;...prompting one popular American talk show host to ask "is this intercourse or Interpol"?

Instead of apologizing to corrupt governments, issuing "Red Alerts", and calling for leak prosecutions3 our leadership must further increase (maximize) our own government's transparency and persuade other governments to follow our lead.

UPDATED 12/02/2010 CSM, Wikileaks Coverage.

UPDATED 12/04/2010 CSM, For Europe, WikiLeaks offers cyberdrama with Julian Assange as main character.

To date, disclosures of the diplomatic traffic indicates minimal or no effort to balance secrecy in the democratic space (this of course is no secret for our secrecy system specialists—they've been arguing our democracy is drowning in secrecy for years).

Moreover, the diplomatic traffic indicates a wide margin from any supposed Hannah Arendt imbalance, should such exist. Finally, that the current diplomatic traffic transparency is perceived as "radical"4 is also an indicator of how wide the imbalance margin is!


1. A person-citizen with access to Bob Woodward's new book, Obama's Wars has the opportunity to inform themselves with respect to our leader's motivations, frustrations, and decisions concerning the Afghanistan War debacle. Is such an informed person-citizen more or less of a benefit to our nation? Does your answer change because Woodward's book contains information marked "SECRET/NOFORN" or transparency embarrasses opaqueness?

2. Hopefully the French Budget Minister Francois Baroin will provide the logic and reasoning, which supports his personal assertion that "a transparent society would be a totalitarian society" (refer to NPR, Clinton: WikiLeaks 'Tear At Fabric' Of Government).
4. Encouragingly, those reporting or following current events tend to view the disclosed diplomatic traffic as little more than confirmation of what has already been suspected or known. Some have even suggested updating the "Batman and Robin" metaphor with a more imaginative metaphor. ...And who knew that the Kadafi voluptuous-blond-nurse traffic would be the most popular traffic or that some of our leaders would make the routine prediction of lack of future candidness?
5. UPDATED 12/04/2010 The Washington Times's motivation for publishing an extremist's editorial calling for the assassination of Julian Assange is unclear. Many Americans expect the debate over government transparency to be intense; most do not expect an American newspaper to print fatwas.
6. Democracy Now also hosted an informative discussion between Glenn Greenwald and Steven Aftergood on transparency.
7. UPDATED 12/11/2010 Reuters is reporting that Attorney General Holder, during a San Francisco fraud conference, stated "We have not pressured anybody to do anything," with respect to Wikileaks.
8. Aftenposten is also reporting that between 2007 and 2009 the Swedish company ÅF Colenco secretly helped Iran design a 360 MW light water reactor. This activity may have violated UN sanctions. The design and support help has since stopped. According to Aftenposten companies from Russia, Pakistan, Syria, France, Italy, Macedonia, Armenia and the Emirates may have engaged in activity that violated UN sanction, too.
9. FAS Secrecy Blog has updated its original post to state that the AFMC Wikileaks "guidance" has been withdrawn.
10. It's hazardous to draw conclusions about governance from argument(s) made in legal cases—particularly cases asserting the buzz words "national security". However, over the years our government has erected a complex opaque behemoth that it uses to govern—voluntarily or involuntarily dismantling this complex opaque behemoth will not be easy, speedy, or without benefits and burdens. Nevertheless, as data leaks from the closed to open set of books even the most uninformed citizen understands that meaningful participation in our democracy requires one set of transparent books. Fortunately, there are some data to suggest that our government (and others) understand their transparent future, if not the bulk transition pace of Wikileaks.

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