ACTION ALERT: Pentagon Attacks Crusading Investigative Web Site
March 30, 2010
Michael Collins / OpEd News
Since its launch three years ago, WikiLeaks -- founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa -- has produced more scoops than the Washington Post has in the past 30 years. Now, the Army Counterintelligence Center has concluded that WikiLeaks is a risk to US security and must be destroyed.
Army Intel ACORNing WikiLeaks?
Web Publisher Under Attack
Michael Collins / OpEd News
US Army Counterterrorism issued a report that said WikiLeaks is a threat to US security, particularly in Afghanistan. The report says that the organization should be destroyed and offered a plan. Does the government really think it can destroy WikiLeaks or is the leaked report part of a plan to smear the organization so badly, it will lose supporters and money?
Since its launch three years ago, WikiLeaks has produced more scoops than the Washington Post has in the past thirty years according to a report by The Guardian. The web based service was "founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa" according to their "About" page. WikiLeaks targets oppressive regimes throughout the world, as well as regimes seeking to repress information on illegal and unethical government actions and policies.
The organization pays a price for its activism. A study by the Army Counterintelligence Center concluded that WikiLeaks is a security risk to the United States. Their information "could be used " by FISS (foreign intelligence services), foreign terrorist organizations, and other potential adversaries for intelligence collection, planning, or targeting purposes."
Further, the report concluded that the publications at the website, "could increase the risk to US forces and could potentially provide potential attackers with sufficient information to plan conventional or terrorist attacks in locations such as Iraq or Afghanistan."
Those extremely serious charges by Army resulted in a plan to destroy WikiLeaks:
"WikiLeaks.org uses trust as a center of gravity by assuring insiders, leakers, and whistleblowers who pass information to WikiLeaks.org personnel or who post information to the Web site that they will remain anonymous. The identification, exposure, or termination of employment of or legal actions against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others from using WikiLeaks.org to make such information public." (Army Counterintelligence report, March 15, p. 3)
Ironically, the same report failed to reach a conclusion on the legality of WikiLeak's publishing activities.
Do They Hate Them for Their Freedoms?
WikiLeaks has more than a million documents on file, anonymous leaks from within various government organizations. It has published documents on Guantánamo Bay torture methods and secret reports from Bildergerg Group meetings.
Recently, the organization posted a document that outlined the CIA's public relations plan to shore up European support for the war in Afghanistan. There are also major leaks posted on the Icelandic financial meltdown with more leaks on the involvement of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and other major financial institutions in that banking scandal.
And then there's this from the WikiLeaks twitter account on February 20.
The the top message refers to an attack in Afghanistan that killed civilians and reporters. Russian Television (4:24) provided an audio clip from General David Petraeus in which he said he'd show some videotape when questions were raised about civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the basis for the WikiLeaks tweet of February 20. No videotape has been shown.
WikiLeaks has a press conference scheduled in Washington, D.C. on April 5 to show the decrypted video.
On March 23, the middle and bottom messages were posted. The middle message is a reaction to claimed harassment by US intelligence indicated in other recent tweets. The bottom message and this article reflect agitation at claimed surveillance by US government agents following board member and frequent spokesman Julian Assange.
Assange speculates that the ongoing harassment is due to the planned video of civilian and press casualties, the release of the destro-WikiLeaks Army study, or revelations of financial improprieties concerning Iceland's financial crisis.
WikiLeaks.org - An Online Reference to Foreign Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups? WikiLeaks, March 15, p. 22)
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
Three Recent WikiLeaks Postings
U.S. Embassy profiles on Icelandic PM, Foreign Minister, Ambassador
(29. Mar. 2010) -- Three classified US profiles of key Icelandic figures. (1) Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir; (2) the then Icelandic Ambassador to the US, Albert Jonsson; (3) Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Ossur Skarphedinsson.
The profiles form briefing documents for US officials visiting Iceland. While the documents are relatively lowly classified and careful to be diplomatic, the tone and certain facts are notable; for instance, speaking on the (then) Icelandic Ambassador to the US: "he protested privately when explanations of alleged use of Icelandic airspace by CIA-operated planes were three weeks late in arriving and, in his view, inadequate, but worked with US diplomats to downplay the issue publicly." Similarly, views about the figures in relation to NATO and other US issues are explored.
CIA report into shoring up Afghan war support in Western Europe, 11 Mar 2010
(26. Mar. 2010) -- This classified CIA analysis from March, outlines possible PR-strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan. After the dutch government fell on the issue of dutch troops in Afghanistan last month, the CIA became worried that similar events could happen in the countries that post the third and fourth largest troop contingents to the ISAF-mission.
The proposed PR strategies focus on pressure points that have been identified within these countries. For France it is the sympathy of the public for Afghan refugees and women. For Germany it is the fear of the consequences of defeat (drugs, more refugees, terrorism) as well as for Germany's standing in the NATO.
The memo is an recipe for the targeted manipulation of public opinion in two NATO ally countries, written by the CIA. It is classified as Confidential / No Foreign Nationals.
Cryptome.org takedown: Microsoft Global /Criminal Compliance Handbook
(24. Feb. 2010) -- Cryptome.org is a venerable New York based anti-secrecy site that has been publishing since 1999. On Feb 24, 2010, the site was forcibly taken down following its publication Microsoft's "Global Criminal Compliance Handbook", a confidential 22 page booklet designed for police and intelligence services.
The guide provides a "menu" of information Microsoft collects on the users of its online services. Microsoft lawyers threatened Cryptome and its "printer", internet hosting provider giant Network Solutions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The DMCA was designed to protect the legitimate rights of publishers, not to conceal scandalous internal documents that were never intended for sale. Although the action is a clear abuse of the DMCA, Network Solutions, a company with extensive connections to US intelligence contractors, gagged the site in its entirety.
Such actions are a serious problem in the United States, where although in theory the First Amendment protects the freedom of the press, in practice, censorship has been privatized via abuse of the judicial system and corporate patronage networks.
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