Julian Assange was recently awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF)’s peace medal, presented to him in London. The event was organised at the Frontline Club. Assange’s acceptance address follows introductions by the SPF’s Stuart Rees and Mary Kostikidis.
A write up of a Q&A section with Assange, which followed the speeches, can be found here (part I) and here (part II).
In this TomDispatch.com interview Civil rights attorney and PULSE contributor Chase Madar outlines the case against––and the defense on behalf of––the soldier who allegedly provided the documents for the latest WikiLeaks release as well as the now infamous “Collateral Murder” video, Private First Class Bradley Manning. Also, don’t miss Chase’s brilliant piece on Bradley Manning.
A declaration by the Ecuadorian government that U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges is “persona non grata” and must leave Ecuador as soon as possible should not come as a surprise, Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said today. Weisbrot noted that the expulsion follows recent troubling revelations in cables released by Wikileaks that describe U.S. government co-ordination with Colombia over a public relations strategy to attempt to link Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa to the Colombian guerrillas the FARC.
“The Obama Administration doesn’t seem to know how to have normal diplomatic relations with democratic, left-of-center governments in the hemisphere,” Weisbrot said. He noted that there was a trend – well documented through U.S. government cables, funding disclosures, and other information – of attempts to undermine governments in Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Venezuela, and other countries. Continue reading “Ecuador expels U.S. ambassador”
‘Breaking Australia’s silence: WikiLeaks and freedom’ was a public forum held on 16 March 2011 at the Sydney Town Hall. The event was staged by the Sydney Peace Foundation, Amnesty, Stop the War Coalition, and supported by the City of Sydney.
Chaired by Mary Kostakidis, it featured speeches by John Pilger, Andrew Wilkie MP (the only serving Western intelligence officer to expose the truth about the Iraq invasion) and Julian Burnside QC, defender of universal human rights under the law.
Anonymous, or Anon, is a movement made up of a number of nameless internet activists from around the world. For many, the ‘hacktivist’ group has become the face of the new cyber-war against oppressive governments and all-powerful corporates. Others say the group’s actions are reckless. Describing itself as “the freedom of speech, the freedom of information and the freedom of expression taken to a logical extreme,” Anon says it breaks laws, but only for the greater good.
Bill Keller of the New York Times accuses Wikileaks of engaging in ‘anti-war propaganda’. Of course that is something that the august ‘paper of record’ would never do. It only engages in pro-war propaganda. Check out the kind of things Keller was writing in the lead up to the Iraq war.
Phenomenons otherwise known as Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have – no doubt – turned world politics and journalism, upside-down. Maybe that’s why the New York Times was among the first US Media outlets to begin working with Assange last year, securing scoops on classified US Government documents obtained by WikiLeaks. Six months later, the relationship has soured and the Times is looking to profit from it by publishing a critical tell-all book about the source that they once relied on.
In another misstep of the historic failure of Plan Colombia and the U.S.-supported War on Drugs, Colombia is training thousands of Mexican soldiers, police and court officials in an effort to boost Mexico’s fight against drug cartels.
Trainings have mostly taken place in Mexico, but now Mexican troops and police are traveling to Colombia to receive training from “Colombia’s battle-tested police commandos,” The Washington Post reported on Saturday. The article also suggests that, in addition to asserting itself as a regional power, Colombia is acting as a proxy for Washington because increased U.S. military presence in Mexico is not politically viable.
White House Drug Policy Director Richard Gil Kerlikowske, while meeting with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón in Bogotá on January 18, said that Colombia “serves as a beacon of hope for other nations struggling with the threat to democracy posed by drug trafficking and related crime.”
A Beacon of Hope?
Kerlikowske’s deceptively rosy assessment of Colombia and the effectiveness of Plan Colombia is severely undermined by the facts on the ground.
At the start of the twenty-first century we were promised that the internet would liberate the world. We could come together as never before, and from Iran’s ‘twitter revolution’ to Facebook ‘activism’, technological innovation would spread democracy to oppressed peoples everywhere. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Morozov destroys this myth, arguing that ‘internet freedom’ is an illusion, and that technology has failed to help protect people’s rights. Not only that – in many cases the internet is actually helping authoritarian regimes. From China to Russia to Iran, oppressive governments are using cyberspace to stifle dissent: planting clandestine propaganda, employing sophisticated digital censorship and using online surveillance. We are all being manipulated in more subtle ways too – becoming pacified by the net, instead of truly engaging. This event marks the publication of Evgeny Morozov’s new book The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World.
A panel of leading thinkers explore WikiLeaks and its implications for access to information, security, first amendment rights, innovation, and more. Moderated by The Real News founder Paul Jay and presented by the Churchill Club, the panel speakers are Daniel Ellsberg, Clay Shirky, Neville Roy Singham, Peter Thiel and Jonathan Zittrain.