Video: Assange, Žižek and Goodman in conversation

On Saturday 2 July at 4pm GMT (11am EST; 8pm AEST), Frontline Club hosted a special event featuring WikiLeaks editor-and-chief Julian Assange, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman. Full unedited video of the event, which focused on WikiLeaks-related issues, can be found below.

A series of reports, essays and videos related to the event can be found here.

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In praise of… the WikiLeaks Truck

WikiLeaks Truck visits Capitol Hill | Photo: Wikileaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit

Described as part prank, part art, and part activism, the WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit has been bothering US authorities in recent months.

A white van emblazoned with the WikiLeaks logo by the artist Clark Stoeckley, the Collection Unit has paid unwelcome visits to notable sites including the White House, Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument.

In March, after a “Free Bradley Manning” Rally in Washington, the truck was pulled over and Stoeckly arrested for driving in a “no truck zone” near the White House, though the charges were later dropped.

“The Secret Service searched the truck and found nothing,” tweeted the artist on Wednesday. “They follow me wherever I go hoping for a traffic violation.”

He added: “I asked the Secret Service officer who arrested me if he had any secrets he wanted to leak to Wikileaks, and that made him laugh.”

Stoeckly’s aim is to have a WikiLeaks truck in every country. He is raising money via the website Flattr and is willing to send adhesive vinyl graphics to anyone who wants to start their own mock ‘Collection Unit’.

“Just imagine these popping up all over the globe,” he says.

View more photos of the WikiLeaks Truck here, and follow the truck on Twitter here.

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New WikiLeaks revelations in Irish and Scottish newspapers

Earlier this month, WikiLeaks partnered with both Irish and Scottish newspapers to publish revelations as part of Cablegate, the largest leak of classified intelligence in history.

The documents detail the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, behind closed doors political disputes over the Iraq War, and fears over the UK’s shortage of Oil and Gas. They also show that the Irish Parliament urged the White House to ban republican party Sein Fein, that Chinese Triad gangs have trafficked women in to Ireland to force them to work in the sex industry, and that there was ‘total chaos’ in the Irish coalition government as its economy collapsed in 2010.

For this and much more, see the links below…

Continue reading

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WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Files on All Guantánamo Prisoners

From WikiLeaks…

In its latest release of classified US documents, WikiLeaks is shining the light of truth on a notorious icon of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” — the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which opened on January 11, 2002, and remains open under President Obama, despite his promise to close the much-criticized facility within a year of taking office.

In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the prisoners held at Guantánamo — 758 out of 779 in total — are described in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.

These memoranda, which contain JTF-GTMO’s recommendations about whether the prisoners in question should continue to be held, or should be released (transferred to their home governments, or to other governments) contain a wealth of important and previously undisclosed information, including health assessments, for example, and, in the cases of the majority of the 171 prisoners who are still held, photos (mostly for the first time ever) …..

Read more at WikiLeaks.ch

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Who signed the Open Letter?

Want to read more about some of those who have signed the Open Letter? Click the links below…

Lisa Appignanesi, John Berger, Fatima Bhutto, Rachel Billington, Rosie Boycott, Heather Brooke, Noam Chomsky, Patrick Cockburn, Steve Coogan, Jeremy Dear, Molly Dineen, David Edgar, Daniel Ellsberg, Bill Emmott, Ariel Dorfman, Richard Eyre, Woody Harrelson, Hugh Hudson, Sue Hollick, Will Hutton, John Kampfner, Helena Kennedy, Imran Khan, Philip Knightley, Hanif Kureishi, Mike Leigh, Kim Longinotto, Terry McDonell, Michael Moore, Philip Pullman, David Puttnam, Salman Rushdie, Richard Sambrook, Susan Sarandon, Edward MacMillan Scott, Alexandra Shulman, Oliver Stone, Tom Stoppard, Laura Wade, Marina Warner, AN Wilson

Thanks to Sandro Kensan for putting this list together.

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Open Letter published in New Statesman magazine

The Open Letter in Defence of WikiLeaks’ Right to Publish features in this week’s edition of the New Statesman magazine, guest edited by open letter committee member Jemima Khan.

Buy your copy here and turn to page six. It is a brilliant edition, which also features an essay by WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

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Special debate: this house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place

Join the Frontline Club and New Statesman for a provocative public debate featuring Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.

Over the past 12 months, official secrecy has been challenged like never before. Three of the biggest ever leaks of classified information – the Iraq War Logs, the Afghanistan War Logs and Cablegate – shook the world and prompted governments to reconsider how they share information.

Since the start of the Obama administration in 2009, the US government has brought charges against five defendants suspected of leaking classified information. Before Obama, the US government had only ever filed similar charges three times in 40 years.

For this very special event at Kensington Town Hall, the New Statesman and the Frontline Club host a challenging debate in which some of the most prominent public figures on secrecy and transparency issues will go head to head.

Amid the intensifying crackdown on whistleblowers, the debate will ask: are UK and US officials correct to argue that those who publish leaks threaten national security? Or do we need them to expose wrongdoing because, as transparency advocates argue, governments always abuse secrecy?

The event will feature an interactive section where the audience will be able to vote on the motion.

Chair: Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman.

Proposition:

Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange is the 39-year-old editor in chief of WikiLeaks. Queensland-born Assange has been the subject of public calls for his assassination from leading US politicians and faces an ongoing espionage investigation. In 2010 he overwhelmingly won Time magazine’s Readers’ Choice Person of the Year poll and was named Le Monde’s Man of the Year. He has also been awarded the Amnesty International UK Media Award and the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. In February 2011 his organisation, WikiLeaks, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize after publishing three of the biggest leaks of classified information in history, the Afghan War Diaries, the Iraq War Logs and Cablegate.

Clayton Swisher, head of Al-Jazeera’s Transparency Unit

Clayton Swisher is the head of Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit (the team that produced the Palestine Papers in January 2011). An ex-federal investigator-turned-investigative journalist, he is a former Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute and a current term member with the Council on Foreign Relations. As a journalist he has covered the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the on-going war in Afghanistan, and has also authored two books: The Truth About Camp David (New York: Nation Books, 2004) and The Palestine Papers: The End of the Road? (London: Hesperus, Mar 31, 2011).

Mehdi Hasan, senior political editor, New Statesman

Mehdi Hasan is a former editor in the news-and-current-affairs department at Channel 4, where he worked on the award-winning Dispatches documentary strand. He is a regular guest on Sky News and the BBC, appearing regularly on Question Time and The Daily Politics. He is an occasional presenter on LBC radio and the co-author of a forthcoming biography of Ed Miliband – Ed Miliband and the Remaking of the Labour Party (London: Biteback, summer 2011).

Opposition:

Sir David Richmond, former director, defence and intelligence, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office

David Richmond was a British diplomat for more than 30 years. His career included postings to Baghdad, Brussels and New York, where he worked on the UN Security Council. In 2000 he became the first UK representative to the EU’s political and security committee in Brussels and was closely involved in the creation of European security and defence policy. In 2003 he returned to Baghdad (where he had first been posted 20 years earlier) and was later appointed UK Special Representative for Iraq. In his last posting, he was director general for general defence and intelligence and a member of the Foreign Office Board.

Bob Ayers, former director of the US Department of Defence Information Systems Security Programme

Bob Ayers had a distinguished career in the US government. In 1992, he was appointed director of the defence department’s Information Systems Security Programme. He next assumed the post of director, defensive information warfare, leading the programme designed to protect DoD systems from systematic cyber attacks. From 1990-92, he was responsible for the security of more than 40,000 classified intelligence-processing systems at 55 locations across the world. Bob is a noted public figure, appearing on television and radio in the US, in the UK and worldwide, and publishing many articles.

Douglas Murray, author and political commentator

Douglas Murray is a bestselling writer and award-winning political commentator. Since 2007 he has been director of the Centre for Social Cohesion. From April 2011 he will be associate director of the Henry Jackson Society. Murray appears regularly in the British and foreign media. A frequent guest on Question Time and Newsnight, he is also a columnist for Standpoint magazine and writes for many other publications, including the Spectator and Wall Street Journal. In 2008 he co-authored Victims of Intimidation: Freedom of Speech Within Europe’s Muslim Communities. His latest book, on the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday, will be published later this year.

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