Banamex v. Narco News Precedent Protects WikiLeaks, Too

By Al Giordano



The current media, political and prosecutorial uproar over WikiLeaks’ 250,000-document dump of leaked US State Department cables largely misses the big story altogether.

The story isn’t WikiLeaks per se, nor its founder Julian Assange, nor even the information made public from those documents, interesting and newsworthy though much of it is.

The story – one that defines the times we live in - has been going on for a while now: State power (and that includes private-sector “states” such as corporations and commercial media organizations) can no longer hide behind commercial (and State-owned) media to consolidate and centralize power when citizens deploy decentralized, small scale, and even temporary media resistances outside of those institutions in these ways that make big media irrelevant.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can shout all she wants about the WikiLeaks revelations being somehow “an attack on America.” The New York Times can betray its own Pentagon Papers heritage and former street cred when its columnists like David Brooks mutter inanities like “I don’t think we should have access to the cables.” Amazon can banish WikiLeaks from its servers. INTERPOL can hunt down Assange, deport him to Sweden, which can then extradite him for prosecution in the US. The Justice Department can lock him - or his sources - up in Guantanamo or SuperMax and none of it will stop the institutional bleeding. Behold: Big media’s tourniquet around State and corporate power has shredded into tiny pieces of torn and bloody gauze.

An old order is coming unglued before our very eyes. WikiLeaks is more a symptom than a cause of this gigantic shift away from a big media controlled world of public opinion. It is the latest chapter among many that came before it and many more to come next. And it can be understood by studying a simple law of nature: Life finds a way.

In the 1993 motion picture Jurassic Park (based on the 1990 Michael Crichton novel), that was a phrase repeated over and over again by a nerdy scientist type, played in the movie by Jeff Goldblum: “Life finds a way.” Now, here is a related phrase that we splice upon that credo: “Information is life.” Oh, isn’t that catchy? Aside from that it will probably be stolen by Apple or Microsoft as its next ad campaign slogan, it also happens to be true. Indeed, information behaves very much like life itself. It reproduces, it mutates, it evolves, it can be hunted down, captured, locked up, and even be killed but eventually it always comes back to life anew, just like other forms of life. Understanding that basic truth of our era gives you a front row seat to how the WikiLeaks story – and the rest of the history of our lifetimes - is going to play out.

In that context, let me please rattle off two main observations provoked by the WikiLeaks chapter in this longer saga.

1. If US officials prosecute WikiLeaks under the US Espionage Act, it will result in a “not guilty” verdict.
 
At today’s US State Department press briefing, official blowhard Philip J. Crowley, asked about the WikiLeaks document dump, growled, “a crime happened under U.S. law and we are going to hold those responsible fully accountable.” Pressed by reporters, he backpedaled to talk mainly about the US employee or employees who allegedly leaked the documents to WikiLeaks. But the tone, like that from other government officials, was meant to intimidate and suggest that “ongoing investigations” could cast a wider net on the messengers, too.

US Attorney General Eric Holder rattled similar sabers this week when he said: "To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, and who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described, they will be held responsible. They will be held accountable."

A Wednesday National Public Radio story looked at what US law actually says regarding a possible prosecution of WikiLeaks members:

Washington defense attorney Abbe Lowell said, prosecuting the website WikiLeaks is no slam-dunk.

"The biggest taboo that has been out there, sort of the dirty little secret in the Espionage Act for a long time, has been whether it would ever be used to prosecute somebody in the media, as opposed to the government employee leaking the information,” Lowell said.

The dilemma, Lowell said, is whether WikiLeaks is a member of the media that warrants special free speech protections, or more like a rogue operation dedicated to hurting the U.S.

"What I worry about and what many worry about is that WikiLeaks makes it easy for the law enforcement community to apply this law for the first time, in a precedent-setting way, that can be used against other people in the media," Lowell said.

In fact, the question of whether an Internet site that publishes information on “matters of public concern” enjoys the same First Amendment protections as the New York Times under the law was settled nine years ago this week, on December 5, 2001. How do we know that? It happened when the New York Supreme Court ruled in our favor in the case of Banco Nacional de Mexico v. Mario Menendez, Al Giordano and Narco News. The court ordered:

"Narco News, its website, and the writers who post information, are entitled to all the First Amendment protections accorded a newspaper-magazine or journalist... Furthermore, the nature of the articles printed on the website and Mr. Giordano's statements at Columbia University constitute matters of public concern because the information disseminated relates to the drug trade and its affect on people living in this hemisphere..."

While I’ve never reached the heights of fame-or-infamy that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has ascended to this week – a candidate for both Time’s Man of the Year and for a prison cell in Sweden or the US or elsewhere – the experience of that court adventure was illuminating on the current topic. Banamex v. Narco News settled, once and for all, that Internet journalists are indeed journalists in the eyes of the law. It set the legal precedent upon which WikiLeaks now stands. The government witchhunt to intimidate WikiLeaks and others like it might even be able to ramp up the hysteria enough to get a lower court to convict the web site or its personnel, but there is no way a conviction survives on appeals.

If WikiLeaks is guilty for having published information leaked by US employees, then we’re guilty too, for having used its documents last week to report Bill Conroy’s story, State Department "Secret Cable" Lays Out U.S. Intelligence-Gathering Agenda in Paraguay, and Erin Rosa’s story, Memo Reveals US State Department Knew Honduras Coup Was Illegal, Did Not Follow Own Advice.

And not only are we guilty, but so is the Spanish daily El Pais, the German daily Der Spiegel, the French daily Le Monde, the British daily Guardian and the US daily New York Times, as well as every other of thousands of news organizations in possession of copies of the leaked documents and that have published and quoted from them. And although some politicians like US Senator John McCain want to take the NY Times to task for having done so, that’s just not going to happen: State power isn’t going to turn against its favorite surviving gatekeeper! And if you can’t prosecute the Times, you can’t win a prosecution vs. WikiLeaks, period.

The officials of State power are angrier than a five percent tip. And they’re not angry because, say, WikiLeaks lied about them. To the contrary, they’re hopping mad because everything in those documents presents an absolutely truthful account of what US officials wrote, and what they reported that officials from other governments said to them and did for them. WikiLeaks put no spin upon them at all. It just laid them out, naked, and hung many of those officials – their career paths, their carefully cultivated reputations – on the petard of their own words. Hey, dudes! Welcome to the NFL and wear a cup. You’re public officials. Your employer – the public – has a legitimate stake in knowing what you’re doing on its dime.

That said, could WikiLeaks and its celebrated founder Assange have done a better job at dealing with this info gold mine that fell on their laps? I don’t know. All I can tell you is how, based on our Banamex case history and other experiences, we would have handled it differently…

2. How we would have done this differently than WikiLeaks did it.

From public relations stunts to court case discovery proceedings, there is a rule of thumb as old as PR itself: If you want to confuse people, or distract them from something you did, give them too much information.

And if you want them to focus on one thing, give them that one thing and nothing else.

Thus, every Friday afternoon, government and corporate press secretaries do “negative information dumps.” That’s when they announce resignations, or disclose scandals, or unfavorable economic reports, usually in the context of lots of competing information being dumped into public view at the same time so that the undesirable story gets drowned in the ocean of data and largely forgotten by Monday morning’s news cycle.

By releasing all 250,000 documents at once, WikiLeaks deprived every single one of those documents of the solitary importance that many of them could and should have had if released on its own, with well reported stories explaining the document’s full context. That is indeed how WikiLeaks first came to the attention of many: when it released a single leaked video from a US military helicopter in Iraq, documenting the assassination by US forces of a journalist. That story had legs, because it was given the space to stand on its own two feet.

Had a treasure trove of documents like this one landed instead on our laps at Narco News, we would do what we’ve always done (and in fact did with two of those documents this week): make them available one at a time, day after day, with reported stories of authentic journalism to bring these “matters of public interest” their full and deserved importance. Then, instead of everyone reading and chattering about whether Muammar al-Gaddafi receives Botox injections or whether someone called Nicolas Sarkozy a pompous ass (and whether he likes being called a pompous ass; we suspect he does!) we might all be talking about something real, like this gem from the WikiLeaks documents, that Slate’s Jack Shafer chose to underline, which reveals why Secretary Clinton responded with over-the-top rhetoric about the WikiLeaks document dump being supposedly an attack on Mom, baseball and apple pie:

How embarrassing are the WikiLeaks leaks? A secret cable from April 2009 that went out under (Secretary of State) Clinton's name instructed State Department officials to collect the "biometric data," including "fingerprints, facial images, DNA, and iris scans," of African leaders. Another secret cable directed American diplomats posted around the world, including the United Nations, to obtain passwords, personal encryption keys, credit card numbers, frequent flyer account numbers, and other data connected to diplomats. As the Guardian puts it, the cables "reveal how the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network."

Additionally, Clinton's State Department specifically targeted United Nations officials and diplomats posted to the United Nations. Among the targeted were Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and permanent security-council representatives from China, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom, as this secret cable from July 2009 lays out. The State Department also sought biometric information on North Korean diplomats, security-council permanent representatives, "key UN officials," and other diplomats at the United Nations.

Whoa! Say what? The US Secretary of State violated the treaties the United States signed to host the United Nations in New York? Had WikiLeaks led with that story all its own, that’s what everybody would be talking about all week long. And instead of Julian Assange’s call for Clinton to resign, it would have come from a thousand surrogates, instead of becoming another free-floating piece of data in the “let’s make Assange look crazy and dangerous” lobby’s arsenal.

As I wrote last week for OpenDemocracy, in an essay titled, Authentic Journalism: Weapon of the People:

Citizen journalism, in some corners, however, has shown it can take from big media what they claim to do and do it better: Go out there and report stories, interview real people, make sure their voices are heard accurately and without distortion, investigate and produce documents and evidence of official wrongdoing (the staggering public support and donations to Wiki-Leaks, for example, indicate a significant hunger and thirst for this kind of reporting). In sum, the solution is no more complicated than embarking on a humble return to the basics of reporting a news story: the proverbial “who, what, when, where, why and how” of what happens each day in human events.

I can certainly understand how it came to be that WikiLeaks didn’t use our approach instead. We’re only in the position to do this after ten years of publishing, of going through legal hell and back again, and after three sessions of the School of Authentic Journalism which give us the necessary small army of skilled reporters of conscience we could call up on waivers to sift through 250,000 documents and State Department cables and be able to devise a strategy that could have been much more devastating for State power, with a daily water torture of one solidly reported story after another coming out, day after day, and providing the necessary public attention and focus on each of the many important ones.

Instead, WikiLeaks chose to “partner up” with the same big five daily newspapers so responsible for the protection of State power in their respective countries (and, yes, all of them will squawk that to the contrary, they’re at odds with governments, but you and I both know how untrue that is). And the overall result is mass confusion that buries all the stories in these documents under a gigantic mound of distraction.

Sure, WikiLeaks has increased the reach of its own brand name. Was that the primary goal? Again, I don't know. But it has also hastened the day by which other, newer ventures, will replace it in the work of making secret documents public, because, fair or not, it is not at all clear that WikiLeaks itself can withstand the intense scrutiny, reaction and repression now upon it. We’re sympathetic to WikiLeaks. We oppose those attacking it. We will defend it from spurious prosecution (our attorneys, who essentially wrote the law that protects WikiLeaks, are also on standby). We hope it can withstand the firestorm. But we’re reality-based and have seen radical celebrity stories turn quickly to flashes in the pan before. This game ain’t tiddlywinks. There are real consequences at play. And it's tough for metal to go through fire if it wasn't forged in fire, first.

What will remain, though, and it’s a wonderful thing, is that the whole world now knows that anyone can make unseen documents shoot ‘round the world in the course of a day. A thousand whistleblowers, in every land, are pondering the new landscape, with itchy trigger fingers on the send button. And Washington, methinks, protests too much, because the next waves will surely include leaks of documents from other countries, too, probably including from many of its adversaries. And then their Secretaries of State will be likewise screaming bloody murder and issuing stern threats to the media that expose them. The tactic of exposing hidden information is not wed to any ideology or “ism.” It is merely a tool that can be made to work for all sides in any conflict. Don’t be surprised if the next big data dump comes from leaked documents from Iran, or North Korea, Russia or any number of State powers at odds with the United States. This pox will soon be upon all houses of State and upon private corporations, too. (I’ve long said: The next Daniel Ellsberg will have to come from inside the New York Times rather than leaking to it.) And that, too, is as it should be: Information is Life! It finds a way!

I’ll give Jack Shafer the last word here (and await your own in the comments section):

“Information conduits like Julian Assange shock us out of that complacency. Oh, sure, he's a pompous egomaniac sporting a series of bad haircuts and grandiose tendencies. And he often acts without completely thinking through every repercussion of his actions. But if you want to dismiss him just because he's a seething jerk, there are about 2,000 journalists I'd like you to meet.”

Exactly.

Members of the official Fourth Estate, meet your newest member. He’s more like you than you think, and the New York Supreme Court has already issued the precedent by which he enjoys the same legal protections as you do. Your fate is now tied in with his. So cut with the crybaby act and get back to work. The days are counted in which your institutions will be able to pay you to do it anyway, so enjoy it while you can, and if you have documents to leak from inside your media organization, or any other institution, mi email es tu email: narconews@gmail.com.

Comments

Confused...

... according to http://cablegate.wikileaks.org :

The embassy cables will be released in stages over the next few months. The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice.

and in fact, only 607 have been released to date.  The Guardian et al. are going a bit faster, to be sure, but I don't think WL itself can be accused of an indiscriminate dump here.

one interesting take on the method

to assange's 'madness' is at zunguzungu here:

 http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-“to-destroy-this-invisible-government”/#

 

In this sense, most of the media commentary on the latest round of leaks has totally missed the point. After all, why are diplomatic cables being leaked? These leaks are not specifically about the war(s) at all, and most seem to simply be a broad swath of the everyday normal secrets that a security state keeps from all but its most trusted hundreds of thousands of people who have the right clearance. Which is the point: Assange is completely right that our government has conspiratorial functions. What else would you call the fact that a small percentage of our governing class governs and acts in our name according to information which is freely shared amongst them but which cannot be shared amongst their constituency? And we all probably knew that this was more or less the case; anyone who was surprised that our embassies are doing dirty, secretive, and disingenuous political work as a matter of course is naïve. But Assange is not trying to produce a journalistic scandal which will then provoke red-faced government reforms or something, precisely because no one is all that scandalized by such things any more. Instead, he is trying to strangle the links that make the conspiracy possible, to expose the necessary porousness of the American state’s conspiratorial network in hopes that the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller.

Massive Information Overload it certainly is

Luckily there are now a lot of people out there sifting through the documents, but I do agree it would have been more helpful to do it more slowly - then again, given the repression Wikileaks is suffering, they may have wanted to get it ALL out there because the chance of getting shut down, even if just by CIA attacks, is real. 

I personally was glad the Times chose to hone in on Honduras:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html?hp#report/cables-09TEGUCIGALPA645

At least now we have written proof that there was indeed a huge shitload of disingenuous nonsense from the Clinton State Dept, saying one thing when their own analysis showed another. We knew that, but it was satisfying to see it in writing.

Sniper fire or carpet bombing?

I've been thinking about the same; why so much all at once and why jump in bed with big media exclusively? If we limit ourselves to Latin America, aren't there publications, like this one and a number of others, more worthy of disclosing the contents of these leaks than Spanish El Pais?

There's an interesting analysis up at a site called Zunguzungu. The author explains that Wikileaks sees government (as defined by you as well to include big corporations and such) as conspiracies, and then theorizes about how to fight these conspiracies:

(...) the most effective way to attack this kind of organization would be to make “leaks” a fundamental part of the conspiracy’s  information environment. Which is why the point is not that particular leaks are specifically effective. Wikileaks does not leak something like the “Collateral Murder” video as a way of putting an end to that particular military tactic; that would be to target a specific leg of the hydra even as it grows two more. Instead, the idea is that increasing the porousness of the conspiracy’s information system will impede its functioning, that the conspiracy will turn againstitself in self-defense, clamping down on its own information flows in ways that will then impede its own cognitive function. You destroy the conspiracy, in other words, by making it so paranoid of itself that it can no longer conspire (...)
Assange is not trying to produce a journalistic scandal which will then provoke red-faced government reforms or something, precisely because no one is all that scandalized by such things any more. Instead, he is trying to strangle the links that make the conspiracy possible, to expose the necessary porousness of the American state’s conspiratorial network in hopes that the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller. (...)

The whole thing is very much worth reading. The question is if this strategy is best pursued by the what I'll call journalism-as -sniper tactic that you would prefer or the carpet bombing that Wikileaks is doing. 

The limits of the diplomatic dump

Al is right to note the potential for a much more shrewd and substantively targeted use of inside disclosures from whistle-blowers, than was represented by Wikileaks' avalanche of diplomatic cables. Obvious explanations are usually more reliable than complicated ones.  The fact that the diplomatic avalanche -- with its raw bar of juicy personal tidbits on the half-shells of Putin, Sarkozy and other leaders -- has made Wikileaks an enormous global story was foreseeable by Assange and probably irresistible to him. That he chose to do it this way, knowing that the mainstream media would focus on the tabloid rather than substantive aspects of all this information, may mean that Assange doesn't have a political strategy.  It's even possible that he's relaxing in southeast England, at a location known to the British government, so as to make it easy for him to conspicuously and legally resist being handed over to whoever might try to make him a martyr, which of course would be a huge mistake by whoever indicted him, since that would merely enlarge his perceived heroism.

As for the content of the diplomatic dump, it's far more easily interpreted as the usual melange of rumors, candid stories and full-frontal assessments of leaders and events that diplomats have been sending home for centuries, than it is evidence of anything amounting to "conspiratorial" actions of one or more governments. For example, we've known for years that in Moscow, crime is a profitable business, and in Arab capitals within a missile's flight of Iran, there is fear of its nuclear intentions.  In regard to most of these "revelations," only the details are new. 

Let's keep in mind that thousands upon thousands of cables come into the State Department every month, that Hillary Clinton probably only reads a few, and that even the now-famous cable from Honduras, correctly assessing Zelaya's ouster as a coup but thereafter mostly disregarded in Washington, was only one spurt of a gusher of information reaching State about those events. Plausible explanations for why the U.S. government didn't stand up for its own enunciated principles in the case of the Honduras coup have been on this web site for more than a year.

Al is right to focus mainly on the implications of the Wikileaks story for journalism. If it encourages more whistle-blowing, that'll certainly help fuel the bottom-up story-telling about state-actor incompetence and corporate malfeasance, which is needed. The work of checking the abuses of power that avoid or suppress the demand for social justice doesn't require the exposure of some sort of top-down grand conspiracy.  It requires the documenting of those abuses, the communicating of them in compelling stories, and the weaving of those stories into larger common-sense narratives that help give this new type of journalism an advantage over the hyperventilation of the mainstream media.

Glad to see you haven't missed the point

Excellent post, Al. 

To Okke above, I don't think WikiLeaks views governments as conspiracies that need to be undermined.  As Assange routinely says, it's a source-protection organization and an information-publication organization.  All it does is publish information that people leak to it...period.  Its "targets" have ranged from Scientologists to national governments, and there is no editorializing about conspiracies or "the system" provided anywhere on its site.  Personally, Assange seems dedicated simply to making information public, especially information that obscures events and actors working against the interests of the public at large.

Assange is more a traditional, Daniel Ellsberg-style journalist than a conspiracy theorist or anarchist or anything of that sort.  He wants the public to know what the public wants to know - that's it.  The American media has largely failed us, at this point, and WikiLeaks represents a huge reminder of how the fourth estate is supposed to act as a watchdog concerning government actions.  Personally, as a 24-year-old foreign policy junkie with a degree in government from Georgetown, I'm much more interested in working for WikiLeaks than for my own government.  It's not only the future of journalism, but it's actually effecting positive change in the world.  Where do I sign up? 

@Taylor

The fact is that Assange DOES see governments as conspiracies. The article I referred to in its turn refers to a piece by Assange from 2006, which you can read for yourself here (PDF). It's titled "State and Terrorist Conspiracies" and here's a quote:

Where details are known as to the inner workings of authoritarian regimes, we see conspiratorial interactions among the political elite not merely for preferment or favor within the regime but as the primary planning methodology behind maintaining or strengthening authoritarian power.
Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers. This is enough to define their behavior as conspiratorial.
It's not so much about what you or I think or assume, but about what the guy actually wrote. 

A leak for a caveat...

I have a problem. A baby peeing "wild" is a life-sustaining leak; an elderly gent peeing in his pants is an aggravating leak.

Two similarly thought-out and worded analysis's by Greenwald and myself would summon the worst and the best in me. I simply cannot fathom agreeing with Greenwald therefore, either he is misleading the reader and ...that makes two of us, he shortchanges the argumentative framework and ...so do I, or the message sounds hollow coming from his self-serving gal, hence ...reads somehow infatuated coming from my aesthetics' rationale. In short, we are in essence what we write and the pen can never be dissociated from the ink, so that one, if of my distaste, can be taken to Court for stealing self-serving Virtue from me.

A leak is a tell-tale sign first and foremost of leaker and enablers. It is not defined by its objective content in as much as by the enabling processes themselves. The leakers vs DoS. No matter whether it goes through the Due Process of Law or some vindictive process of "forget you not", DoS gets the nod here for consolidating the hold on Democracy of Fortress America.

Has our knowledge of the Clinton/DoS mindset deepened through chatters and small talk?

Ditto for World Politics, Ergonomics and toe-nail Freakenomics...?

Haven't we known for ages the widespread use of lies and double-talk in our own personal lives for leveraging our ignorance from powerlessness to simply get some, any angle on Life...?

Are our lies and deceits Public Domain within our own intimate circle of friends and acquaintances? Have you ever asked yourself what a writer really thinks about his or her own faithful readers? Shouldn't it be Public Domain to readership?

Should we ask of our Institutions to be, by some magic, higher up in the scale of evolution than we have managed to attain for ourselves personally?

Who is forthright enough, apart from you and me of course, to "caveat emptor" one's thought process, one's actioned intelligence, and serve public notice of potential errancy from egocentric, almost organically biased demeanour?

Information is Life indeed, somehow awfully privy to the survival of the fittest, ...somewhere early, by my reckoning, on its ever more transparent scale of Evolution. An ape cuts corners on its way to a meal, and I'm talking about me here...

Should be required reading....

This post and thread, that is, in any journalism class, anywhere.

"Information is life."  YES!  Talk amongst yourselves...

I've been aware of Assange for quite awhile, but this post got me to research him, and I like what I see.  Real deal here, Al.  He's been fighting the good fight long before Wikileaks came to be. He clearly "gets" the media game, and is using it to change it.

For any youngins' out there like Taylor above...I hope you realize what an amazing moment in time you are living in.  Journalism is being re-invented right before our eyes.  Edward R. Murrow, I.F. Stone, Ida Turnbell and many others would be so proud of the Giordanos and Assanges of the world, and you have such opportunity to take part RIGHT NOW.  Go for it!

The only constant in life is...Things Change.  However it is right now, it'll be different at some point.

Go make that Change reflect the inner truth and morality you see inside yourself.  The Truth will set you free.  Always.  Action, boys and girls! 

Assanges OODA loop killer

Please note-- i am not very interested in the ethics of what Assange is attempting.

the oligarchs are just holding up ATTACK Assange NAOW signs for the american cudlip electorate.

i want to know if it can be done.  we are in the middle of field test #1 of Assange's paranoia frag bomb.

alien-radio: To massively simplify. Success is built on having a nice open functioning OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop. When A paranoid system adds layer after layer of security, bluffs, FUD, etc. at increasing strength as the core of the system is approached, Information flow across the entire system is compromised, and the OODA loops of the component parts start getting more and more out of whack,they respond to information more and more slowly, make decisions slower, or worse always make the SAME decision etc. This is how non linear information systems collapse.
If you can complete your OODA loop faster than your opponent you will win.
Quite aside from what else Wikileaks accomplishes it’s an elegent hack.

that is why the rest of the cables are being released one per hour.

assanges OODA loop killer

Assange is field testing a closed information systems killer.

And its working.

People with clearances have gotten inhouse email telling them they could lose their clearances if they visit Wikileaks site.
Major Defense Contractor Blocks Anything With ‘WikiLeaks’ In URL
The nation’s biggest defense contractors, who employ thousands of people with security clearances, are taking steps to restrict their access to Wikileaks, including one company which is blocking employees from accessing any website, including news stories, with “wikileaks” in the URL.
White House Tells All Federal Agencies To Prohibit Unauthorized Employees From Wikileaks Site:
The Office of Management and Budget today directed all federal agencies to bar unauthorized employees from accessing the Wikileaks web site and its leaked diplomatic cables.
The Library of Congress also blocked access to Wikileaks on its public access computers TPM reported yesterday. That’s a reasonably big deal if you know how librarians feel about information access.
What is next? Universities?

is the US becoming Iran?

Is twitter being censored?

i just cannot believe that no one is paying attention.

there is a field test of a closed information systems killer right out of a scifi novel RUNNING RIGHT NAOW.
and the US CAN'T STOP IT.
and it looks like it is WAI.  (working as intended).

wikileaks new distributed server cloud

 

Mirror List
Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 507 sites (updated 2010-12-06 14:02 GMT)

 

14 hours ago- 335 sites
18 hours ago- 208 sites

projecting a crude linear curve fit (not relly enough data points yet) wikileaks is adding approx 20 mirror sites per hour on average.
in one week wikileaks should add approx 3360 mirror sites. in one month 13440.
if the diplocables continue at 1 or 2 per hour it will take ~ 28 years to release them all.
Do the math.
i think in less than one year America will be come a police state rivalling China in information suppression.

Obama's game

It seems that Obama is playing Pontius Pilot here, letting others do the dirty work.

What a fucking coward!

 

 

Art that has to be in a gallery to be art isn't art.

The Wonderful World of WikiLeaks

Hypocrisy is accepted as so common that the word may have lost its usefulness. Never-the-less, the difference in rhetoric and tone are remarkable if one compares the media's take on the telecoms and their illegal spying on Americans, for which they were given immunity, and the exposure of cables written competently by our diplomatic service personnel, whose mission is to provide clear and concise analysis of ongoing events and the players.

It is a "breath of fresh air" to read realistic accounts of past and ongoing events instead of the pabulum distributed by the propaganda wing of the government known as the media. The news media betrays American principles and ideals on a daily basis, where the most sought after talent is eloquence in the dissemination of mendacious and confusing misinformation.

The enemy being targeted by the media and many of our elected officials is reality. Somehow realistic appraisals of the machinations of government officials have become taboo. In a corrupt society honesty is the enemy. The hyperbolic rhetoric surrounding this issue confirms the guilt our leaders and representatives harbor for many of the decisions and actions taken on our behalf. The responses we are witnessing have the appearance of toddlers throwing temper tantrums, leading one to suspect that the wrongful acts they take are premeditated and without moral justification.

We appear to live in a time when pragmatism and being realistic are euphemisms for cowardly deceptions.

Wikileaks telling journalists to actually be journalists

Whatever else Wikileaks is accomplishing, it's rubbing in the faces of most journalists the fact that they are lazy and incurious, that they are more fearful of unemployment than of doing their jobs well, that they are ignorant of what journalism is and can accomplish, and that they are more public relations agent than actual journalist.  The journalists who aren't afraid to recognize their current subservient  P.R.-agent status have a chance to develop journalistic ambition and skills and contribute to the common good.  Those who remain in denial about their collusion with government will continue their irresponsibility.

The few journalists who understand that Wikileaks is practicing actual journalism in an assignment editor's role are already practicing actual journalism themselves or will be soon.

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About Al Giordano

Biography

Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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