President Obama of the USA ends his presidency with something good.
Chelsea Manning, Jailed Army Leaker, To Be Freed By President Barack Obama
It marks a turn for the Obama administration, long criticized for its hostility to whistleblowers.
01/17/2017 04:20 pm ET | Updated 3 minutes ago
The commuted sentence, announced by Obama on Tuesday, will allow Manning to be freed on May 17 of this year. She was originally set to be freed in 2045, according to the New York Times.
Manning has been incarcerated since 2010, after she confessed to sending the secret military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy organization [WikiLeaks]. While she was seen as a traitor by some, many more considered her a whistleblower and hero. In 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act and other offenses. …
“I’m relieved and thankful that the president is doing the right thing and commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence,” Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project representing Manning, said in a statement. “This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many.”
In September, Manning became a hero in the LGBTQ community for her hunger strike to demand gender confirmation treatment. Manning, who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a female, ended her strike after the Army complied with her request.
Sere also here.
For exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pvt. Chelsea Manning suffered nearly seven years in prison, an ordeal President Obama finally is ending but without acting on the crimes she revealed: here.
From Al Jazeera today:
WikiLeaks has published 294,546 emails along with thousands of attached files from 762 mail boxes that allegedly belong to the primary email domain of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The most recent email in the trove released by the whistle-blowing organisation on Tuesday was sent on July 6, 2016. The oldest dates back to 2010.
“It should be noted that emails associated with the domain are mostly used for dealing with the world, as opposed to the most sensitive internal matters,” WikiLeaks said on its official website.
WikiLeaks said it obtained the emails a week before Friday’s attempted coup.
“WikiLeaks has moved forward its publication schedule in response to the government’s post-coup purges.
We have verified the material and the source, who is not connected, in any way, to the elements behind the attempted coup, or to a rival political party or state,” the organisation said.
WikiLeaks previously claimed that the Turkish government would attempt to censor the distribution of the documents, and urged the Turkish public to be ready to bypass any government attempts at blocking access to the material.
“Turks will likely be censored to prevent them reading our pending release of 100k+ docs on politics leading up to the coup,” the organisation said on Monday via Twitter.
“We ask that Turks are ready with censorship bypassing systems such as TorBrowser and uTorrent. And that everyone else is ready to help them bypass censorship and push our links through the censorship to come.”
WikiLeaks later claimed that its infrastructre was “under sustained attack,” following its announcement of the imminent publication of the AKP emails.
“We are unsure of the true origin of the attack. The timing suggests a Turkish state power faction or its allies. We will prevail & publish,” WikiLeaks said on Twitter.
Turkey blocks WikiLeaks over release of AK Party emails: here.
Turkey: Work travel ban on academics after failed coup: here.
Suspected coup supporters in Turkey beaten, raped while detained: Amnesty: here.
In the wake of the 15 July coup attempt, a three-month state of emergency was declared all over Turkey in accordance with “suggestions” from the National Security Council. Declaring a state of emergency following a coup attempt that aimed to completely suspend democracy will solve none of the country’s problems but only serve to realize the system of governance envisioned by the coup plotters: here.
From The Verge:
UN: Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained and deserves compensation
By Amar Toor on February 5, 2016 03:31 am
A United Nations panel has determined that Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been living since 2012. In a report published today, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) said that Sweden and the UK should compensate Assange for the detention, though the ruling is not legally binding. British authorities have said they will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.
Swedish authorities have sought to question Assange, 44, on an accusation of rape, but the Australian national has denied the claim and fears extradition to the US, where he could face charges related to the troves of diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks began publishing in 2010.
In a statement released Friday, the UNWGAD said that Sweden and the UK should work to guarantee Assange’s “safety and physical integrity, to facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner, and to ensure the full enjoyment of his rights guaranteed by the international norms on detention.” Assange’s legal team filed a complaint with the panel in 2014, saying that being confined to the embassy had taken a “significant toll” on his health.
In a statement published to the WikiLeaks Twitter account this week, Assange said he should be allowed to leave the embassy if the panel ruled in his favor. …
“To go against a decision would be to go against a unit of the United Nations, and their own interpretation of human rights,” Per Samuelsson, a lawyer for Assange, told The New York Times yesterday.
MILLIONS of pounds spent by police monitoring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for three years could have been better used for front-line police duties, Baroness Jones said yesterday: here.
UK and Swedish governments continue their persecution of Julian Assange: here.
US government jet lay in wait for Snowden in Copenhagen. Danish government reveals agreement to cooperate over extradition in the event whistleblower arrived in Scandinavia: here.
New York Times launches McCarthyite witch-hunt against Julian Assange: here.
Assange Proves Innocence: SMS Records Show He Was Framed by Police in Rape Cases. December 8, 2016: here.
This video says about itself:
3 April 2010
Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents.
After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com.
From the BBC today:
Julian Assange is being arbitrarily held, UN panel to say
Mr Assange claimed asylum in London’s Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex assault claims, which he denies.
The Met Police says Mr Assange would be arrested if he does leave the embassy.
He earlier said his passport should be returned and his arrest warrant dropped if the UN panel ruled in his favour.
In 2014, Mr Assange complained to the UN that he was being “arbitrarily detained” as he could not leave the embassy without being arrested.
The application claimed Mr Assange had been “deprived of his liberty in an arbitrary manner for an unacceptable length of time”.
The UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is due to announce the findings of its investigation on Friday. …
While the BBC understands the panel will find in Mr Assange’s favour, Wikileaks tweeted it was waiting for “official confirmation”. …
In his complaint to the panel – made in 2014 – Julian Assange argued that living in 30 square metres of the Ecuadorean Embassy with no sunlight or fresh air had taken a “significant toll” on his physical and mental health.
So a decision against Sweden and Britain in favour of Mr Assange is bound to be controversial. …
The journalist John Pilger, who is a friend of Mr Assange, said “the ball is now at the feet of the British government”, whose international legal “obligations” were represented by the UN panel.
“They did something in terms of supporting the tribunal in all the other celebrated cases, and Assange now joins them because the UN jurists have clearly found this is a case of arbitrary detention,” he said. …
His Wikileaks organisation posted secret American government documents on the internet, and Mr Assange says he believes Washington will seek his transfer to the US if he is sent to Sweden.
In the statement, published earlier by Wikileaks on Twitter, Mr Assange said: “Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.
“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”
Last October, Scotland Yard said it would no longer station officers outside the Ecuador embassy following an operation which it said had cost £12.6m. But it said “a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him” would still be deployed.
From Associated Press:
Wikileaks Publishes Files It Says Shows The U.S. Government Spied On Japanese Officials, Companies
07/31/2015 05:56 AM EDT | Edited: 3 hours ago
TOKYO — The Wikileaks website has published documents that it says shows the U.S. government spied on Japanese officials and companies.
Wikileaks also posted an NSA list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts including the Japanese Cabinet office, Bank of Japan officials, Finance and Trade Ministry numbers and fossil fuel departments at Mitsubishi and Mitsui.
The Japanese government had no immediate response.
WikiLeaks last Friday released documents showing that the United States has spied on the Japanese government and some of the country’s largest corporations for at least the past decade. Japan is just the latest US ally to be revealed as a target of US eavesdropping. Previous leaked documents revealed US spying on German, French and Brazilian leaders: here.
This video says about itself:
24 June 2015
From the BBC:
NSA spying: France summons US envoy over Wikileaks claims
38 minutes ago
France has summoned the US envoy in Paris over claims that the US spied on President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors, officials say.
Mr Hollande called an emergency meeting and said France would “not tolerate” acts that threaten its security.
The US said it would not comment on “specific intelligence allegations”. …
Analysis: Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris
None of the leaks is earth-shattering. In one Jacques Chirac pushes for the nomination of Terje Roed-Larsen as UN under-secretary-general. Nicolas Sarkozy says he wants to help Pernod Ricard in a row with the US over rum.
Though maybe not ‘earth-shattering’ it is significant that the NSA spies on France about rum. It proves that the official lies about NSA etc. spying supposedly being ‘only against terrorists’ are lies indeed. And the spying is not only against, officially ‘allied’, governments. It is also economic espionage, paid by United States taxpayers, to help United States alcoholic drinks etc. corporations in a criminal way against foreign competition.
Three days after taking office, Francois Hollande calls secret meetings to discuss the Greek crisis.
Most of this could have been gleaned by diplomats at the US embassy simply doing their job – rather than by the spy-station that Liberation newspaper says operates on the embassy roof. The impression given is of an agency scooping up indiscriminate quantities of information, and for little benefit. As the French intelligence expert Francois Heisbourg put it, “They do it because they can.” …
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has summoned US Ambassador Jane Hartley to discuss the latest claims, French officials said.
Ms Hartley is expected to visit the foreign ministry in Paris later on Wednesday.
A statement from the French presidency (in French) said the US must respect a promise not to spy on French leaders. The statement came after an emergency meeting of security chiefs in Paris.
A senior French intelligence official is meanwhile expected to visit Washington to discuss the spying claims.
Wikileaks began publishing the files on Tuesday, under the heading “Espionnage Elysee” – a reference to the French presidential palace.
It said the secret files “derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications” of the three French presidents as well as French ministers and the ambassador to the US.
The Wikileaks files have now been published by France’s Liberation newspaper and the Mediapart investigative website.
One of the files, dated 2012, is about Mr Hollande discussing Greece‘s possible exit from the eurozone. Another one – from 2011 – alleges that Mr Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, possibly without US involvement.
A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it.
According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington and Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser discussed Mr Sarkozy’s plan to express his “frustration” over US unwillingness to sign a “bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement”.
“The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France,” the intercept says.
FRANCE DEMANDS U.S. AMBASSADOR EXPLAIN SPYING ALLEGATIONS “France summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday following revelations by WikiLeaks that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the past three French presidents.” [AP]
Wikipedia Founder Demands Justice For NSA Spying: here.