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Grasping the currency true to our time

"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"

November 19th
8:30 PM

"As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge"

- From a November 2008 U.S. Diplomatic Cable

video: a child’s view from Gaza

September 2nd
3:57 PM

Wikileaks Goes Full Monty

The Internet whistle-blowing platform WikiLeaks made public Friday for the first time all of the about 250,000 US diplomatic cables it had acquired in their original and uncensored state.

On Friday, media partners who worked together with WikiLeaks in the past, including SPIEGEL, the Guardian, the New York Times and El Pais, issued a joint statement condemning the decision to release the raw documents…

"We cannot defend the needless publication of the complete data — indeed, we are united in condemning it."

"Today’s decision to publish by Julian Assange was his, and his alone."

On Twitter and its website, WikiLeaks criticized former colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg for connecting the password with a file that was accidentally made accessible to the public, and blamed David Leigh, a journalist for the British newspaper theGuardian, for publishing the password.  >continue<

A Dispatch Disaster in Six Acts  |  All Cables Made Available

September 1st
6:52 PM

All Leaked U.S. Cables Were Made Available Online as WikiLeaks Splintered

A WikiLeaks computer file that allows anyone to read every word of 251,287 leaked United States diplomatic cables by typing a password made public six months ago was posted online by mistake last year, potentially endangering human rights activists and other sources who spoke to American officials in confidence.

As  Spiegel Online reports, the password-protected file with the unredacted cables was made available because of “a chain of careless mistakes, coincidences, indiscretions and confusion” that followed the splintering of the antisecrecy organization into rival factions over the past year.  >continue<

May 25th
4:53 PM

Wikileaks: US pressed India to engage Pakistan

Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show that the United States has been continuously urging India to engage Pakistan in bilateral talks, but New Delhi refuses to do so until Islamabad meets its demands first.

“Gen Kapoor rhetorically asked whether there should not be a degree of confidence in Pakistan before such a dialogue can even begin,” the cable noted.

Good to know the U.S. has pressed - but this intransigence is cause for concern. Pakistan has been in a world of trouble even before the Bin Laden raid and its aftershocks. An obsession with India, many argue, is crippling Pakistan. The surmise is that U.S. pressure aims to convince the bigger, more prosperous power to make a move towards enabling a thaw - that this movement is essential to both progress in Afghanistan and enabling Pakistan to right the ship of state, as well as to a larger view of Indian security vis a vis its nuclear neighbor. And yet India appears trapped in looking for the result before getting to work?  

This seems like trying to enshrine a perfect criteria of knowledge before getting on with the process of actually knowing. In other words, fastidiousness laying the ground for disaster to teach the supremacy of the latter.

See also Wikileaks/Dawn.com Pakistani papers | zeitvox/pakistan

April 18th
11:22 PM

Exclusive new cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the United States' heavy-handed efforts to help Israel at the U.N. | Foreign Policy

In the aftermath of Israel’s 2008-2009 intervention into the Gaza Strip, Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, led a vigorous campaign to stymie an independent U.N. investigation into possible war crimes, while using the prospect of such a probe as leverage to pressure Israel to participate in a U.S.-backed Middle East peace process, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables provided by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

The new documents, though consistent with public U.S. statements at the time opposing a U.N. investigation into Israeli military operations, reveal in extraordinary detail how America wields its power behind closed doors at the United Nations. They also demonstrate how the United States and Israel were granted privileged access to highly sensitive internal U.N. deliberations on an “independent” U.N. board of inquiry into the Gaza war, raising questions about the independence of the process. [read more]
March 16th
2:38 PM

More on Japan's nuclear oversight, Wikileaks and Boron


  • Protest over the Mark 1 reactor The Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor, as we mentioned yesterday, has a long history of safety concerns, so much so that 35 years ago, General Electric scientist Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his fellow employees resigned in protest over the design. He worried that the… (read more)
March 13th
2:50 PM
"So, in Barack Obama’s administration, it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse an American citizen in detention who has been convicted of nothing by consigning him to 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement, barring him from exercising in his cell, punitively imposing “suicide watch” restrictions on him against the recommendations of brig psychiatrists, and subjecting him to prolonged, forced nudity designed to humiliate and degrade. But speaking out against that abuse is a firing offense. Good to know.

As Matt Yglesias just put it: “Sad statement about America that P.J. Crowley is the one being forced to resign over Bradley Manning.” And as David Frum added: “Crowley firing: one more demonstration of my rule: Republican pols fear their base, Dem pols despise it.”"
February 15th
1:26 AM

New information emerges on anti-WikiLeaks plot


Tech firm [Palantir] suspends employee involved in plan to attack WikiLeaks and Salon’s Glenn Greenwald

Here’s where a new wrinkle in the story comes into play. Anonymous has now published a new batch of thousands emails hacked from executives at HBGary. And the emails appear to contradict Palantir’s claim that it had nothing to do with developing the anti-WikiLeaks plan.

February 13th
6:47 PM

The Future of WikiLeaks - Evgeny Morozov


Video: Evgeny Morozov, critic of social media and internet utopianism, on the value and future of wikileaks. Surprise he likes wikileaks and see’s it as an agent for positive change.

February 9th
11:16 AM

WikiLeaks May Have Just Confirmed That Peak Oil is Imminent | Fast Company


It’s getting more and more difficult to deny that an oil supply crunch is just a few years down the road, especially now that WikiLeaks has released cables revealing that Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves have been exaggerated by as much as 40%, or 300 billion barrels. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter.

Peak oil, or the point when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction has been reached and is about to enter terminal decline, is no longer the fringe theory it was just 10 years ago. Even Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, has admitted that oil supply may no longer keep up with demand by 2015. But the just released cables, which detail a back-and-forth between the U.S. consul general and geologist Sadad al-Husseini, the former head of exploration at Saudi Aramco, confirms that the situation is serious.

Here’s an excerpt from one cable:

“In a presentation, Abdallah al-Saif, current Aramco senior vice-president for exploration, reported that Aramco has 716bn barrels of total reserves, of which 51% are recoverable, and that in 20 years Aramco will have 900bn barrels of reserves.
“Al-Husseini disagrees with this analysis, believing Aramco’s reserves are overstated by as much as 300bn barrels. In his view once 50% of original proven reserves has been reached…a steady output in decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it. He believes that what will result is a plateau in total output that will last approximately 15 years followed by decreasing output.”

Other cables from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh go on to express fears that “Saudi Aramco is having to run harder to stay in place—to replace the decline in existing production,” and that “Clearly they can drive prices up, but we question whether they any longer have the power to drive prices down for a prolonged period.”

Only time will tell whether Al-Husseini’s predictions are correct, but the possibility of imminent peak oil is enough to make Obama’s goal of putting one million electric cars on the road by 2020 a little less overly ambitious.

- source/fastcompany.com

February 7th
11:40 AM

Anonymous counterattacks US security firm

they replaced the front page of HBGary’s site with an image rebuking the company and saying “you’re nothing compared to Anonymous. You have little to no security knowledge. Your business thrives off charging ridiculous prices for simple things like NMAPs, and you don’t deserve praise or even recognition as security experts.”

BBC: Anonymous hackers attack US security firm HBGary 

Register: Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

Gawker: Payback for FBI Snitch

Daily Kos: Anon pwns HBGary Federal UPDATED w/PRESS RELEASE

Crowdleaks: Anonymous retaliates against HBGary espionage,
'childish mindset and volatile intentions'

relatedData intelligence firms proposed a systematic attack against WikiLeaks (and Glenn Greenwald)

Feb 9: Proposed targeting Glenn Greenwald

Feb 16: Anonymous Speaks, Inside Story of HBGary Hack

February 1st
8:29 PM

Thundering Footsteps

Citizen Zed - 2/1/11

It’s like when you saw Jurassic Park and had an even deeper thrill, perhaps alongside troubling reservations, that for better worse film would never be the same again.  What happens when global political reality feels its sinews torn and re-strung in the wake of something like that?  With Wikileaks, Tunisa and now Egypt we’re finding out daily.  And for us in the theatre of events it’s every bit as stupefying and sensational as watching T Rex rampage through apparatchiki who comically, yet self-confidently, regurgitate the pablum of unconscious anachronism - as though somebody might as well be ringing the dinner bell.

Read More

January 28th
10:03 AM

Egypt as ‘Physician with One Patient’

Charley Bravo - 1/28/11

A cable newly released by Wikileaks, 10DOHA71, hightlights some fascinating commentary by the Prime Minster of Qatar in discussions with Senator John Kerry. Regarding the Palestinian issue, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani notes that Hamas has a “greater sense of urgency in reconcilling with Fatah than does the broker of the talks”.  His point here is that Egypt is in some way impeding progress while maintaining its status in the process.  At the very least, the Prime Minister believes that Hamas wants to unite with Fatah for the sake of rebuilding Gaza but that Egypt is not trusted as a broker.

According to HBJ, Egypt — the broker — has a vested interest in dragging out the talks for as long as possible. Egypt ‘has no end game; serving as broker of the talks is Egypt’s only business interest with the U.S.’  HBJ likened the situation to a physician who has only one patient to treat in the hospital.  If that is your only business, “the physician is going to keep the patient alive but in the hospital for as long as possible.” 

In what appears to be a stunning offer, up against the suggestion that Aljazeera was the source of Egypt’s domestic problems, the Prime Minster recounts telling Mubarak that Qatar would “stop Aljazeera for year” if he could deliver on the diplomatic front.  If that was a bluff, Mubarak did not call it, but rather “said nothing in response”.

Now we are at a stage, said HBJ, where Egypt does not want Arab League involvement in brokering a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinians unless the talks bog down.

The nature of this peculiar problem with the 2nd largest recipient of US foreign aid was, according to the Prime Minster, even understood by during the Clinton Administration.   Regarding internal dissent in Egypt and the regime’s tactics, he claims the Egyptian “people blame America …mostly because of Mubarak and is his close ties”.

8:33 AM

Egyptian Internet Traffic for 27 Jan


via farm6.static.flickr.com

Presumably, this is the outward expression of a reality noted by the Wikilieaks’ recently released cable 10CAIRO179

Egypt’s police and domestic security services continue to be the subject of persistent, credible allegations of abuse of detainees. Police brutality in Egypt against common criminals is routine and pervasive, resulting in part from poor training and understaffing.  Over the past five years, the government has acknowledged that torture takes place, but maintains that it is unusual, and is committed by a small minority of officers.  Since late 2007, courts have sentenced approximately 18 police officers to prison terms for torture and killings. The GOE [government of Egypt] has not yet made a serious effort to transform the police from an instrument of regime power into a public service institution, but there are indications that the government is allowing the courts increased independence to adjudicate some police brutality cases. Credible human rights lawyers believe the GOE is adapting to increased media and blogger scrutiny of torture cases by intimidating victims into dropping cases against the Interior Ministry 

January 27th
9:39 PM

Cables Show How U.S. Privately Pressured Egypt



It was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first meeting as secretary of state with President Hosni Mubarak, in March 2009, and the Egyptians had an odd request: Mrs. Clinton should not thank Mr. Mubarak for releasing an opposition leader from prison because he was ill.

In fact, a confidential diplomatic cable signed by the American ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, advised Mrs. Clinton to avoid even mentioning the name of the man, Ayman Nour, even though his imprisonment in 2005 had been condemned worldwide, not least by the Bush administration.