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struggle4progress's Journal
struggle4progress's Journal
August 31, 2012

Argentina's ambassador to the UK badly needs a history lesson

Alicia Castro hit the news this week with her comments: she said the UK was exhibiting precisely the same arrogance in the Assange affair that it had exhibited in the 1982 Falkland-Malvinas war

No one will fault the ambassador for her nationalism: surely she is proud of her country and is in London to serve its interests. And many see the Falklands-Malvinas war as a sad waste of 900 lives. We might quibble idly about whether archipelago was or was not within Argentine territorial waters, or whether the British Isles had really controlled the territory since 1833, or whether the inhabitants of Stanley considered themselves Her Majesty's subjects. Those of us who disliked Maggie Thatcher's reign, of course, easily consider pinning the entire unnecessary fiasco on her, for she was so proud of it. But there is much a larger back story here -- and other issues

Argentina endured seven years of military dictatorship after Videla's 1976 coup replaced Isabel Perón. It was not a happy time, and Argentina has labored long and hard to face it squarely. The Dirty War involved murdering activists by the thousands across the entire region. Some were tortured before being dumped into the Atlantic from aircraft. The fate of thousands is still unknown. Children, orphaned by the murder of their parents, were stolen from their remaining families and adopted to hide their true histories

Argentina's military, unsurprisingly, used nationalistic posturing to win support. They had scarcely come to power when they set out to provoke a conflict with the UK, by building an outpost in the Sandwich Islands. In the following years, the UK attempted to resolve the matter by diplomacy. In 1977, when the World Court ruled against Argentina, assigning the Beagle Channel islands to Chile, the junta denounced the ruling and began planning a military operation, which was prevented by further international mediation efforts. Ultimately, the Pope's intervention nominally settled the Beagle Channel islands dispute

So when Argentine troops landed in the Falklands-Malvinas, ill-will was available in whole-sale quantities. Recent history did not suggest to the UK that there were good prospects for diplomacy with Argentina. And recent history suggested to the Chileans that the Falklands-Malvinas operation was merely an exercise preparatory towards an invasion of Chile. So the UK cut a deal with Pinochet and (much to the surprise of Argentina's dictator) took back the Falklands-Malvinas and the Sandwich Islands

On the home front, people had become thoroughly sick of the junta -- and the defeat in the Falklands-Malvinas war showed that the junta was not invincible. Losing all political support, the junta was forced to accept a restoration of democracy

Alicia Castro may not have fond memories of the Falklands-Malvinas war. But Argentina's loss really was a good thing for Argentina

Castro: "El caso Assange demuestra la arrogancia del Reino Unido"
La embajadora argentina afirmó que no le sorprende la actitud del gobierno inglés en la sede diplomática ecuatoriana en Londres.

28.08.2012 | 13:06

La embajadora ante el Reino Unido afirmó que no le sorprende la actitud del gobierno inglés respecto al asilo de Julian Assange en la embajada de Ecuador en Londres, porque “se parece” al proceder con la Argentina en relación a las Malvinas.

“Para nosotros, para los argentinos, este hecho, que demuestra la arrogancia de la diplomacia británica, no nos sorprende” porque “se parece a las declaraciones respecto de la cuestión Malvinas con las cuales el Reino Unido también desatiende la legislación internacional”, afirmó Castro ...

Castro: "The Assange matter shows the arrogance of the United Kingdom"
Argentina's ambassador said she is not surprised at the attitude of the British government towards the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

28.08.2012 | 13:06
The ambassador to the UK said she is not surprised at the British government's attitude regarding Julian Assange's asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, because it looks to Argentina just like the UK's attitude towards Falklands.

"For us, the Argentinians, this fact shows the arrogance of British diplomacy, not surprising because it resembles statements regarding the Malvinas issue, in which the UK also disregards international law," said Castro ...


Kissinger backed dirty war against left in Argentina
Transcripts show former secretary of state urged violent crackdown on opposition

Julian Borger in Washington and Uki Goni in Buenos Aires
The Guardian, Friday 27 August 2004 21.33 EDT
... The Argentine junta formed a secret pact in 1976 known as the Condor Plan with other South American dictatorships in Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil for the eradication of "terrorists" ...

"The newly-revealed documents prove that as early as June 1976 Kissinger was informed of the existence of the Condor Plan," said Horacio Verbitsky, head of the Argentine human rights group Cels in Buenos Aires.

Mr Verbitsky, who during the 1970s ran an underground news service, said Mr Kissinger made it difficult for the US embassy in Buenos Aires to pressure Argentina's generals on human rights violations. "When US ambassador Robert Hill met with the generals to demand an end to the violence, the generals could say, your boss Kissinger knows what's happening and he doesn't care," he said ...


Kissinger approved Argentinian 'dirty war'
Declassified US files expose 1970s backing for junta

Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
The Guardian, Friday 5 December 2003 21.20 EST
... The revelations are likely to further damage Mr Kissinger's reputation. He has already been implicated in war crimes committed during his term in office, notably in connection with the 1973 Chilean coup.

The material, obtained by the Washington-based National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, consists of two memorandums of conversations that took place in October 1976 with the visiting Argentinian foreign minister, Admiral César Augusto Guzzetti. At the time the US Congress, concerned about allegations of widespread human rights abuses, was poised to approve sanctions against the military regime.

According to a verbatim transcript of a meeting on October 7 1976, Mr Kissinger reassured the foreign minister that he had US backing in whatever he did ...


Kissinger to Argentines on Dirty War: "The quicker you succeed the better"
Washington, D.C., 4 December 2003 - Newly declassified State Department documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act show that in October 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and high ranking U.S. officials gave their full support to the Argentine military junta and urged them to hurry up and finish the "dirty war" before the U.S. Congress cut military aid. A post-junta truth commission found that the Argentine military had "disappeared" at least 10,000 Argentines in the so-called "dirty war" against "subversion" and "terrorists" between 1976 and 1983; human rights groups in Argentina put the number at closer to 30,000 ...


Pilot arrested over Argentina 'death flights'
Juan Alberto Poch, a budget airline pilot, is accused of flying planes from which junta threw opponents into sea

Giles Tremlett, Valencia
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 23 September 2009 10.00 EDT
...Juan Alberto Poch, 57, was arrested on Monday at the controls of a Dutch holiday jet he was about to fly from Valencia to Amsterdam.

Poch is wanted by the courts in Argentina to answer allegations that he flew navy aircraft on the death flights between 1976 and 1983 ...


'Death flights' suspect returned to Argentina
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 29, 2010 10:10 a.m. EDT
... Former Argentine Navy Lt. Julio Alberto Poch was arrested last year on charges that he was at the helm of aircraft from which 950 drugged and blindfolded prisoners were thrown alive during the 1976-83 right-wing dictatorship. Poch, a commercial pilot for the Dutch airline Transavia.com, was arrested September 23 when his flight made a stopover in Valencia.

He was wanted on an international arrest warrant and was returned to Argentina on Thursday ...

The prisoners included students, labor leaders, intellectuals and leftists who had run foul of the dictatorship because of their political views. Most were dragged off the street or otherwise summarily arrested and held without trial in secret prisons where many were tortured.

Another pilot, former Navy Capt. Emir Sisul Hess, was also arrested last year on similar charges. Sisul Hess, accused in 56 deaths, was captured in the Argentine town of Bariloche, near the border with Chile ...


Argentina makes arrests in 'flights of death' killings
1 May 2011 Last updated at 05:39 ET
Argentine authorities have arrested three former policemen ... accused of being the crew when French nun Leonie Duquet and rights activist Azucena Villaflor were thrown from a plane in 1977.

Their bodies washed ashore and were buried in an unmarked grave until their remains were identified in 2005 ...

A judge on Tuesday ordered the arrest of former police officers Enrique Jose De Saint Georges, Mario Daniel Arru and Alejandro Domingo D'Agostino.

A lawyer and a former navy officer were also detained in connection with the case ...


Argentina's 'death flight' pilots to go on trial
Saturday, Aug 11, 2012
BUENOS AIRES - Pilots accused of flying "death flights" during Argentina's 1976-1983 dictatorship will be tried for allegedly throwing live prisoners - including a nun - into the sea, the judiciary said Friday.

The defendants include former pilots Julio Poch and Enrique de Saint Georges as well as lawyer Gonzalo Torres de Tolosa, said the Judicial Information Center (ICJ) of the country's Supreme Court ...

The trial is part of an ongoing effort to investigate crimes against humanity committed at a notorious naval school.

The first hearings were conducted in 2011 and resulted in several life sentences ...


Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo

Muro de la Memoria

Argentina: las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo recuperaron al nieto 106
Pablo Javier Gaona Miranda, de 34 años, conoció su verdadera identidad mediante un análisis realizado en el Banco Nacional de Datos Genéticos (BNDG).

Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo anunciaron la restitución de identidad de Pablo Javier Gaona Miranda, el nieto 106 recuperado - AFP
Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, organización humanitaria que se dedica a la búsqueda de hijos de desaparecidos robados durante la dictadura argentina (1976-1983), anunció este lunes a través de un comunicado de prensa la restitución de la identidad al nieto número 106 ...

Argentina: the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo identify their 106th grandson
Pablo Javier Gaona Miranda, 34 years old, learned his true identity with the help of an analysis using the National Genetic Data Bank (BNDG).

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the humanitarian organization dedicated to finding children of the disappeared who were stolen during Argentina's dictatorship (1976-1983), announced Monday in a press release the the recovery of the identity of grandson number 106 ...


Argentina's former dictator Jorge Videla given life sentence
Head of military junta that took power in 1976 convicted for deaths of 31 prisoners, in trial of several officials from regime

Associated Press in Buenos Aires
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 December 2010 06.15 EST
Former Argentinian dictator Jorge Videla has been sentenced to life in prison for the torture and murder of 31 prisoners, most of whom who were "shot while trying to escape" in the months after his military coup.

The conviction was Videla's first in 25 years for crimes against humanity, thrilling relatives who packed the courtroom, holding up grainy black-and-white pictures of the victims and shouting "murderers" at the defendants. Most of the two-dozen former military and police officials who were tried with Videla also received life sentences ...


Jorge Rafael Videla convicted of baby thefts
Former Argentine dictator jailed for 50 years after executing a systematic plan to steal babies from leftist dissenters

Uki Goni in Buenos Aires
guardian.co.uk, Friday 6 July 2012 02.09 EDT
Argentina took a giant leap forward in its struggle to come to terms with its bloody past during the 1976-83 dictatorship by condemning former dictator Jorge Videla to 50 years in prison for masterminding a plan for stealing the newborn children of political opponents and handing the babies over to be raised by "good" military families after killing their mothers.

The verdict on Thursday evening capped a 16-year trial during which hundreds of hours of testimony were heard proving that the kidnappings were not just collateral damage in the "civil war" between the military and leftwing guerrillas, as supporters of the dictatorship have claimed, but rather a deliberate policy put in place by the top leaders of the regime.

"The kidnapping of newly born babies is the last crime that former members of the military regime are willing to admit," says British journalist Robert Cox, who was one of the main witnesses at the trial last year. As editor of the small English-community daily Buenos Aires Herald in the late 1970s, Cox was one of the only journalists in Argentina who dared report on the crimes committed by the military as they happened, including their kidnapping of infants. "It's like the Nazis, what they did was so terrible they could never admit it," Cox said in Buenos Aires upon hearing the verdict that his testimony helped bring about ...


Argentina's 'Blond angel of death' convicted for role in dirty war
Alfredo Astiz, known as the 'blond angel of death,' served as a lieutenant at a torture center where thousands of dissidents were secretly imprisoned and executed during Argentina's dirty war from 1976-1983.

By Sam Ferguson, Correspondent
October 27, 2011
... Alfredo Astiz, known as the “blond angel of death,” served as a lieutenant at the Naval Mechanics School (ESMA), a torture center where thousands of guerrillas and dissidents were secretly imprisoned and executed. He and 17 other defendants were charged with various cases of kidnapping, torture, and murder relating to 86 victims ...

The charges against Astiz centered on his role in infiltrating, kidnapping, and executing 12 human rights activists in 1977.

Beginning in middle of that year, Astiz began marching with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group of women who congregated in Buenos Aires’ central square to protest the disappearance of their children. The Mothers knew him as Gustavo Niño, a young, handsome, well-spoken man who was desperately seeking his missing brother.

When Astiz suspected that his cover had been compromised, he helped organize a series of raids around Buenos Aires in December of 1977. Twelve people were kidnapped, including three founding members of the Mothers and two French missionary nuns, Alice Domon and Leonie Duquet. Several were tortured in the Naval Mechanics School, and within days the 12 activists were loaded onto navy airplanes and thrown into the South Atlantic ...


Former Argentine Gen Eduardo Cabanillas jailed
31 March 2011 Last updated at 21:08 ET
Former Argentine Gen Eduardo Cabanillas has been sentenced to life in prison for running a notorious detention centre during military rule in 1976-83.

Three former intelligence officers were also convicted of murder, torture and illegal imprisonment.

Around 200 left-wing activists were kidnapped and taken to the Automotores Orletti secret prison in Buenos Aires.

Most of the victims were Uruguayan, but there were also Chileans, Bolivians, Peruvians and Cubans ...


Reynaldo Bignone, Argentina Dictator, Guilty Of Torture In Hospital
By MICHAEL WARREN 12/29/11 01:29 PM ET
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentina's last dictator was convicted Thursday of more crimes against humanity, this time getting 15 years in prison for setting up a secret torture center inside a hospital during the 1976 military coup.

Reynaldo Bignone personally oversaw the takeover of the Posadas de Haedo hospital in Buenos Aires province 35 years ago, leading soldiers in tanks and helicopters in search of medical personnel who allegedly treated leftist guerrillas. The military dismissed all the doctors and nurses, but kept some for questioning, including the hospital's medical director. Eleven hospital staffers disappeared.

Bignone's trial involved 21 cases of kidnappings and tortures, including two victims who were killed and made to disappear by a civilian group of thugs who called themselves the "SWAT" team and answered to the air force. The SWAT team set up shop inside the medical director's home, interrogating the staff ...


Corbeta Uruguay base
Corbeta Uruguay base was an Argentine military outpost established in November 1976 on the island of Thule, Southern Thule, in the South Sandwich Islands. The base was established by order of the then-military junta governing Argentina as a way to back up its territorial claims on British territory in the South Atlantic. Britain discovered the base in December 1976 but sought a diplomatic solution to the issue until 1982 ...


Beagle conflict
In 1971 Chile and Argentina signed an agreement formally submitting the Beagle Channel issue to binding arbitration ... The court that was to decide the controversy was composed of five judges selected by Chile and Argentina from the International Court of Justice at The Hague ... On May 2, 1977 the court ruled that the islands and all adjacent formations belonged to Chile ... On 25 January 1978 Argentina rejected the ruling, and attempted via military force to challenge the Chilean commitment to defend the territory, and to coerce Chile into negotiating a division of the islands that would produce a maritime boundary consistent with Argentine claims ...


Anniversary of papal action that stopped Argentina-Chile war
Sunday, November 30th 2008 - 20:00 UTC
Brazilian cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer will represent Pope Benedict XVI in the ceremony honouring the 30th anniversary of the Vatican's mediation between Chile and Argentina which avoided a full fledged war over the Beagle channel and adjoining islands in the extreme south of the continent ...

The papal mediation in late 1978 and personal pleading to the then two military dictators, Generals Jorge Videla and Augusto Pinochet avoided a full fledged conflict between Argentina and Chile over the Beagle Channel. The dispute involved three minor islands and the Beagle channel which links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the Magellan strait, extreme south of the South American continent. Following John Paul II personal intervention both military regimes agreed to begin negotiations with the signing in Uruguay, in January 1979 of the Montevideo Declaration which was to be the cornerstone for the peace and friendship agreement ...


“We were prepared for war with Chile”, not in Malvinas admits former Argentine military governor
The former military governor of the Malvinas Islands during the Argentine occupation said that the negative outcome of the war for Argentina can only be attributed to “negligence and improvisation”.

Thursday, April 5th 2012 - 22:51 UTC
... In a long interview with an Argentine television channel, General Mario Benjamin Menendez admitted Argentina was not prepared “for a war in the Islands, but rather for war with Chile”.

General Menendez was named military governor of the Malvinas Islands a day after the Argentine invasion on 2 April and officially took the post three days later ...


Memorandum for Lady Thatcher on Chile’s support during Falklands’ conflict
Thursday, April 5th 2012 - 14:29 UTC
It is a well known and admitted fact that the Chilean regime of General Augusto Pinochet provided very useful intelligence to the British effort to recover the occupied Falkland Islands in 1982.

Now a memorandum on the story of those contacts written by then General Fernando Matthei Auble Chilean Air Force commander has surfaced ...

The memorandum was prepared for Lady Thatcher in 1999 when Pinochet was arrested and placed under house arrest in London

What motivated Piñera to make public the document was that in a November 2009 interview with Brigadier Basilio Lami Dozo, former member of the Argentine Junta that invaded the Falklands and commander of the Air Force, revealed that had Argentina succeeded in retaining the Falklands, afterwards they would attack Chile ...


Chile 'helped UK over Falklands'
Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
... The book, The Official History of the Falklands War, details the deal between the governments of Margaret Thatcher and General Augusto Pinochet, said the BBC's Chilean correspondent Clinton Porteous.

Extracts from it claim "the Chilean military provided key information on the movement of Argentine forces and other assistance, and in return were offered a cut-price deal on the purchase of military aircraft" ...

Chile was officially neutral during the conflict, but the book claims it considered a border offensive against Argentina to draw military forces away from The Falklands.

Argentina and Chile both had military governments at the time and were "close to war", the BBC correspondent said ...


August 28, 2012

Ron Paul, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and the Libertarians’ Electoral Strategy

Ron Paul gave his speech in Florida Sunday night, at some distance from the convention that had offered him a time slot only if he would cleanly endorse the GOP nominee -- and only if party censors could preview his text

The Libertarians are the third largest political party in the US: in every election, they collect a few tenths of a percent of the vote. If each and every Libertarian voter rustled up several hundred new Libertarian recruits, they’d become a major force. But they haven’t done that yet. The Libertarians did win an electoral vote, once, back back in 1972, but it wasn’t because they cooked up a big mess of organized dialing and door-knocking: an elector, pledged to vote for “Tricky Dick” Nixon, simply pulled his own dicky trick and voted the Libertarian ticket. The GOP does not quickly forgive or forget, and though Paul might call himself a Republican, everybody knows he’s really a libertarian. Suspicion clearly remains, that Paul (like the faithless elector of 1972) is ready to betray the GOP for his Libertarian friends

So Paul spoke Sunday at the Sun Dome, not at the Times Forum. Some of what he said there is actually interesting -- but only because it is very very unoriginal. Paul called Bradley Manning “the equivalent of Daniel Ellsberg” and said “Manning hasn’t caused the death of anybody”. He complained that Sweden, under US pressure, was pursuing false charges against Julian Assange and would extradite Assange to the US for prosecution

The Libertarians, of course, have wandered forlornly for decades, hoping to pick up whatever support they could wherever they could. Back during the Vietnam War, for example, Libertarians often tried to recruit with the hook that they would legalize marijuana. And there were reports last year that Libertarians flocked to Occupy! events in hopes to win converts there. So one might wonder: has Paul just stumbled as an opportunist into Assangist territory?

But there really might be more to the story. The cypherpunk culture, that spawned Assange, had laissez-faire libertarian sympathies. And Assange calls himself a libertarian. He called himself a libertarian in a 2010 interview with Forbes; he called himself a libertarian on 60 Minutes in 2011; and he called himself a libertarian while pretending to consider a run for the Australian Senate in 2012. More precisely, Assange self-identifies as a free-market libertarian who dislikes regulation. His personal libertarian ideology would explain why Assange was eager to take credit for Climategate: when he later gushed "We released over ten years of emails from the CRU and those climate scientists!" maybe he was just thrilled (as a friend of free markets and foe of regulation) to have played a role in scuttling the Copenhagen Summit

Various Libertarians manage to repeat the very very unoriginal tale Ron Paul was telling in Florida in support of Assange
Raimondo, for example, firmly believes “the contest between Julian Assange and most of the world’s governments” is “a clear cut case of good versus evil” -- then trots out the now-familiar theory in which female Swedish CIA assets honey-trapped Assange to force him to face a kangaroo court in Sweden before being extradited to the US for detention at Guantanamo

Another well-known Libertarian, who plows these fields regularly and diligently, is Glenn Greenwald, associated with the Cato Institute. The day after the November 2010 election, Glenn Greenwald addressed Paulites in Wisconsin to discuss the possibility of splitting progressive voters away from the Democrats. Greenwald’s strategy then included Libertarian support for Citizens United, Bradley Manning, and the Tea Party, as well as attacks on Obama, in the hopes that the Democrats would lose still more seats in 2012

... Paul went on to defend, as he often does, the WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning, comparing him to "Daniel Ellsberg, who told us the truth about Vietnam." He suggested, again, that Julian Assange is being railroaded on false charges ...

The End of Ron Paul and His Selective Patriots
By John H. Richardson at 1:02AM

... “Let me tell you, Bradley Manning didn’t kill anybody,” the Texas congressman declared at around minute 45, speaking of a “soft spot” in his heart for whistleblowers. “Bradley Manning hasn’t caused the death of anybody. And what he has exposed—he is the equivalent of Daniel Ellsberg, who told us the truth about Vietnam!” The crowd exulted. Paul then pivoted to a spirited defense of Julian Assange, chastising the government of Sweden for truckling to alleged American demands that the Aussie be extradited to the U.S. for prosecution ...

Ron Paul Stands for Manning and Assange
By Michael Tracey • August 27, 2012, 7:50 PM

... Almost all cypherpunks were anarchists who regarded the state as the enemy. Most but not all were anarchists of the Right, or in American parlance, libertarians, who supported laissez-faire capitalism ...

The Cypherpunk Revolutionary: Julian Assange
Robert Manne
The Monthly | The Monthly Essays | March 2011

... I’m not a big fan of regulation ... WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this ... A perfect market requires perfect information ... So as far as markets are concerned I’m a libertarian ...

An Interview With WikiLeaks' Julian Assange
Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff
11/29/2010 @ 5:02PM |911,599 views

... Assange prefers to be called a libertarian ...

Julian Assange gushes to “60 Minutes”
Monday, Jan 31, 2011 06:18 AM EST
By Adam Clark Estes

... In his first interview since declaring his intention to run for the Senate in the next federal election, Mr Assange said he ''could be described as a libertarian'' ...

Assange: what I'll do in the Senate
March 27, 2012
Philip Dorlin

... “There is clearly a significant level of support for Julian Assange which crosses party lines and is more concentrated amongst Greens voters” ... Assange announced plans to run for Australia’s 76-seat Senate in March, vowing to be a libertarian and “fierce defender of free media” were he elected to the upper house ...

WikiLeaks chief has ‘real chance’ of election: poll
Sun, May 20, 2012

Wikileaks Greatest Hits: Climategate

If there was ever a clear cut case of good versus evil, then surely it is the contest between Julian Assange and most of the world’s governments ...

Raimondo Article: Assange's Last Stand
Submitted by reedr3v on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:19

Glenn Greenwald

... Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial....

Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies
The benefits of his candidacy are widely ignored, as are the Democrats' own evils

Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 11:15 AM EST
By Glenn Greenwald

At a talk given the day after the 2010 election — one that was a disaster for Democrats — “progressive” writer and civil liberties lawyer Glenn Greenwald gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin, and expressed the hope that Democrats might suffer the same fate in 2012.  Greenwald’s ... approach to politics that got members of the Young Americans for Liberty — a Paulite Libertarian group that co-sponsored the event — excited ...

Re-rise of the Naderites: Glenn Greenwald’s third party dreamin’ **UPDATE: on Libertarianism
August 26, 2012

Wikileaks Greatest Hits: Steve Jobs' HIV test report

As countless fans worldwide thrill to the breath-taking adventures of the brilliant journalist and dare-devil Julian Assange (who is currently planning a long vacation in Ecuador to avoid the Saudi feminist movement in Stockholm), it is worthwhile to pause and remember Wikileaks many selfless efforts to improve life on our planet

And so, today, we bring you yet another delightful historical vignette: Steve Jobs' HIV test report

When Steve Jobs died last October, Wikileaks promptly launched a small media campaign to call everyone's attention to a 2004 medical report showing that Jobs had tested positive for HIV. But the medical report was quickly exposed as a fake

... The document is a fake and one which the site has previously linked to in 2008. The most obvious clue that the document is a fraud is the fact that the results, supposedly from 2004, are from a company titled SxCheck – which was not founded until 2006. Julian Assange’s Wikileaks linked to the image of the document minutes after Jobs’s death was announced ...
Friends and relatives gather at Steve Jobs’s California mansion as shrines pop up across the globe

... Just minutes after news broke that Steve Jobs had died, Wikileaks tweeted a link to "purported Steve Jobs medical records." The link goes to a torrent file for a couple images of test results from a company called SxCheck which supposedly show Steve Jobs tested positive for HIV in 2004. They're obvious fakes — most obviously because SxCheck wasn't even founded until 2006 — and even Wikileaks concludes "the images should not be taken at face value" ...
Wikileaks Honors Steve Jobs with Fake HIV Report

Maybe Assange was hoping to snag a columnist position at Weekly World News?
August 25, 2012

Who is Julian Assange? By the people who know him best

The son, the saviour, the fugitive, the friend, the man. He also has an odd craving for Vegemite
guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 August 2012 18.00 EDT

... The first time I met Assange, he was convinced a sniper was targeting him through the windows of a conference centre. A few hours later, he was happily typing in front of the same windows. I asked why he believed he was a target. "I can't tell you," he said. Then, five minutes later, he did. He told me I should come to Washington DC for a press conference. Why? I can't tell you. Again, five minutes later, he told me about the Collateral Murder video.

Assange attributed his drive to his first experience with power as a young man (hacking into the email of a Pentagon general). I said maybe I liked investigating politicians' expenses because that had been my first big investigation as a student. "No, it's different when you're a young man." Can't women be driven the same way? "No, they're not." It was a definitive statement, no supporting evidence needed ...

I later heard from two other women who said Assange pulled the same "poor little lost boy" trick on them in an attempt to finagle his way into their homes. I said that was not how I conducted interviews. He complained that I didn't have a maternal instinct, adding in drama-queen fashion: "I have two wars to stop."

I replied: "Yeah, it's a tough life being a messiah." His response left me speechless: "Will you be my Mary Magdalene, Heather? And bathe my feet at the cross" ...


August 22, 2012

Two years ago, Assange agreed to be a columnist for the Swedish paper I linked

So they must really be pretty pissed at him to be calling him a coward in print now

Published: 2010-08-14
... WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will write in Aftonbladet ...
... Assange is currently in Stockholm and arrived yesterday on Aftonbladet's editor for a meeting with the editor Jan Helin.
- It is no coincidence that I chose to start writing in a Swedish newspaper. Swedish publishing culture and Swedish law have been on our side since we started, he says ...
How exciting. Does this mean that Aftonbladet will be working with WikiLeaks?
- It can not be excluded ...

Publicerad: 2010-08-14
... Wikileaks grundare Julian Assange ska skriva i Aftonbladet ...
... Assange är just nu i Stockholm och kom i går upp på Aftonbladets redaktion för ett möte med chefredaktören Jan Helin.
– Det är ingen tillfällighet att jag väljer att börja skriva i en svensk tidning. Den svenska publicistiska kulturen och den svenska lagstiftningen har stöttat oss ända sedan vi startade, förklarar han ...
Spännande. Innebär detta att Aftonbladet kommer att få samarbeta med Wikileaks?
– Det kan inte uteslutas ...


August 22, 2012

The Man Who Spilled the Secrets (Vanity Fair | February 2011)

By Sarah Ellison

On the afternoon of November 1, 2010, Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks.org, marched with his lawyer into the London office of Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian ... He was .. angry, and his message was simple: he would sue the newspaper if it went ahead and published stories based on the quarter of a million documents that he had handed over to The Guardian just three months earlier ...

An unwavering advocate of full, unfettered disclosure of primary-source material, Assange was now seeking to keep highly sensitive information from reaching a broader audience. He had become the victim of his own methods: someone at WikiLeaks, where there was no shortage of disgruntled volunteers, had leaked the last big segment of the documents, and they ended up at The Guardian in such a way that the paper was released from its previous agreement with Assange—that The Guardian would publish its stories only when Assange gave his permission. Enraged that he had lost control, Assange unleashed his threat, arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released ...


I assume that a February 2011 Vanity Fair is an acceptable source to you, since Jemima Khan, who put up a large chunk of Assange's bail money in December 2010, is European editor-at-large of Vanity Fair -- and this article was written well before Assange jumped bail in June 2012

Now, there are several striking peculiarities here

First, Assange trades in stolen documents, over which he sometimes claims ownership, and he is arguing that it is for him, as owner of the stolen documents, to decide when and where and whether he releases them in order to claim yet again his self-awarded mantle as The Great Protector of Transparency

Second, Assange believes that other people ought to be subject to the rule of law and the decisions of the courts, but he doesn't not believe he himself ought to be subject to the rule of law and the decisions of the courts

August 22, 2012

... Passions were stirred by a debate on the BBC’s Newsnight programme on Monday,

when former British ambassador Craig Murray named one of the women making allegations against Assange and encouraged viewers to research her background on the Internet.

Murray labelled the allegations “dubious” and said they were part of a “political agenda”.

The programme’s anchor rebuked him for naming the alleged rape victim on live television. Fellow guest Joan Smith, a columnist at the Independent newspaper, said some left-leaning men were “queuing up to cast aspersions on these women” because they were sympathetic to Assange’s political stance.

Rape or politics? Assange sex case divides Britain
Poll finds men more sympathetic to Assange than women
By Estelle Shirbon, Reuters August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012

Wikileaks Greatest Hits: The Venezuelan ambassador's emails

As millions of fans worldwide cheer the amazing accomplishments of Julian Assange, who recently set a world record sprinting from house arrest in London, it is worthwhile to pause briefly to remember Wikileaks selfless efforts for a better world

And so, today, we bring you yet another delightful historical vignette: the Venezuelan ambassador's emails

But first -- a bit of background!

Our story begins in early August 2007, when a federal customs official (Maria del Lujan Telpuk) at Aeroparque Jorge Newberry in Buenos Aires asked a wealthy Venezuelan ex-pat (Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, then living in Miami) to open his suitcase. Wilson had just arrived from Caracas in a Cessna chartered by an Argentine state agency. Opened, the suitcase revealed about $800000 in cash. Wilson forfeited his cash and returned to Florida. An Argentinian official resigned. And the beautiful customs official was featured in Playboy!

And now -- still more background!
The matter largely died down in Latin America. The Bush Justice Department, however, found the matter fascinating. Efforts were made to encourage Wilson to say that he had been transporting cash from Venezuela’s Chavez to support Kirchner’s election in Argentina. This produced counter-efforts to discourage Wilson from saying that. Then Bush’s Justice Department boys sprang their trap and charged several people with being unregistered agents of Venezuela. Wilson rather quickly agreed to cooperate. In January 2008, Moises Maionica pleaded guilty, and Carlos Kauffman did so in March. The odd Miami trial of Frank Duran began in early September 2008, with rightwing media cheering it along as definitively proving the corruption of Chavez and Kirchner -- though various leftwingers suspected the affair might actually prove something completely different.

And here’s even more background!
The relation between Argentina and Venezuela was a very very hot sexy subject in September 2008, as Duran’s trial put the suitcase scandal back into news. So, naturally, somebody hacked a server, got thousands of emails from the account of Freddy Balzan (who had been Venezuela’s ambassador to Argentina), and handed them over to Wikileaks!

Which finally brings us to the decisive light that Wikileaks shed on this fascinating subject!
Wikileaks promptly attempted to auction off the rights to a first peek at the emails. Sadly, that didn’t get much of a response. So Wikileaks sent an email warning to everybody who’d corresponded with Ambassador Balzan by email, politely notifying them, that all the email recipients might want to be prepared for exposure. But because the Venezuelan ambassador’s email were in Spanish, Wikileaks used Google to translate their email warning into something non-Spanish-speakers might think resembled Spanish! Anyway, it obviously wasn't a blackmail attempt -- it was a victory for open government!

Some people have enjoyed the two old Borev links on this

Cash-Stuffed Suitcase Splits Venezuela and Argentina

'Suitcase Scandal' Goes On In Argentina

She found her 15 minutes inside a suitcase scandal

Fotos de María Lujan Telpuk en Playboy – La chica de la valija

Chávez and the Cash-Filled Suitcase

Suitcase full of cash adds to Chavez corruption claims

Breaking News: The WikiLeaks People Are Funny Morons
... Of course, just about everybody on the "courtesy" list is a Spanish speaker, and nobody at WikiLeaks speaks Spanish, so they ran their stupid courtesy message through an online translation service, with predictable results ...

Great Moments in Transparency
So a reader got one of those "courtesy" letters from Wikileaks explaining that his name and personal information were about to be made public because he had gotten a group Email once from this Freddy Balzan person. Only he'd never heard of any Freddy Balzan so he wrote them back an Email saying, "WTF?" and "Don't." And then Wikileaks Director Julian Assange wrote him back an ugly note calling him, quote, "insane" ...

... The existence of information like this, hosted on the servers of wikileaks but not published, should lead to the question: what does wikileaks do with this information? How did wikileaks acquire this information and why does it have it, if it does not publish it online? ...

August 20, 2012

Why doesn't Sweden interview Assange in London? (Anya Palmer)

... In the Swedish system formal indictment takes place at a very late stage in proceedings, following a second and final interview with the suspect, and in the case of a person in pre-trial detention, trial must follow within two weeks ...

(3) Sweden recently interviewed a murder suspect in Serbia; why can't Assange be interviewed in London?
This argument has been doing the rounds on Twitter recently. Here's the newspaper report they commonly link to ...

This report dates to 22 March 2012 and says that Swedish investigators have travelled to Serbia to interview a 21 year old man suspected of the murder of a 26 year old man in Uppsala. However, there is nothing in the report to suggest that this is the second interview prior to charge which Assange is now required to undergo. The report says that Swedish police and investigators "have now interviewed the 21 year old man" which clearly suggests they had not interviewed him previously.

In Assange's case, he already had his initial interview on 30 August 2010 before he left Sweden. So to compare his case with that of the 21 year old interviewed in Serbia is simply not comparing like with like ...


August 20, 2012

The Blog that Peter Wrote: Assange

... He is Wanted in Connection with a Rape Investigation ...

The Stockholm District Court made an arrest order against Mr Assange, which he then challenged in the Swedish Svea Court of Appeal. They examined the case in detail and determined there was probable cause and his arrest was justified ...

He has had a full hearing before the Senior District Judge and Chief Magistrate at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on his extradition. It ordered his extradition to Sweden to face investigation (note, he is only the subject of an arrest warrant there and has not yet been charged). Mr Assange appealed this order to the High Court. It found against him. He appealed to the UK Supreme Court. It held against him ...

After the Supreme Court ruling went against him, he skipped bail and sought refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador before his deportation was scheduled to take place (commencing 28 June 2012). He has therefore committed a separate criminal offence in this country for which he is wanted ...


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