Bradley Manning: US Army sets date for pre-trial hearing

22/11/2011

As a subscriber to the Bradley Manning Support Network email list, I recently received an email informing me that a date has at last been set for a pre-trial hearing.  I reproduce the email here, to get the news to as many people as possible.

Army sets pre-trial hearing date for Bradley. Vigils and rallies planned at Fort Meade MD, worldwide.

Protest his Pretrial Hearing Saturday, Dec 17th (Bradley’s B-Day) at 12pm at Fort Meade, MD outside Washington D.C.! (Solidarity actions taking place around the world.) Bradley Manning

After 560 days of pretrial confinement, including 250 days spent in solitary conditions, the Military has finally announced that PFC Bradley Manning’s Pretrial Hearing will begin on December 16th in the Washington D.C. area. Read our press release.

PFC Bradley Manning is accused of uncovering the facts behind a system of foreign policy that routinely hides abuse from public scrutiny. “If convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment… of confinement for life” the U.S. Army reports.

If he is the source of the WikiLeaks revelations, he is the most significant whistle-blower in a generation. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies of the sort #OccupyWallStreet opposes, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S.troops from the failed occupation in Iraq.

Bradley Manning, who turns 24 on the date of our protest, is a young soldier from a working-class background who believed that people should know the truth, “no matter who they are… because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

He now faces opposition from embarrassed politicians and military officials, and potential life in prison on a poorly defined military charge of “Aiding the enemy through indirect means.” If words attributed to Bradley Manning are accurate, it appears that he was motivated only by a desire to expose questionable and illegal actions by our leaders. This information had been concealed — not to protect us — but in order to avoid accountability. According to several who served in the same unit as Manning, this information had already been made available to Iraqi Army recruits — but not the American public. It is absurd for our government to suggest that the American people is somehow “the enemy.”

As founding father Patrick Henry wrote, “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

Bradley’s pretrial hearing date has been announced, and this is the time to take our support of Bradley into the streets. Bradley Manning was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last month, and topped the UK Guardian’s Readers Poll. Now the world watches the proceedings of this case while judging our country as a whole.

Previous protests outside of a Quantico brig where Manning was being held were successful in ending the mistreatment he had endured there. December 17th will be our International Day of Solidarity with the largest protest taking place outside the gates of Fort Meade! View logistics/RSVP here.

For people outside of the DC and Baltimore area, we welcome creative solidarity actions. Visit events.bradleymanning.org to register your event.

Please share this announcement with friends and connections via e-mail, facebook, and twitter.

Sincerely,

The Bradley Manning Support Network

 

Locations of visitors to this page

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


Question: Who is/are “Anonymous”? Answer: No one/everyone.

15/03/2011

Just read about the “hacker group” Anonymous’ release of apparently incriminating emails from the Bank of America. This story really annoys me. Not because I’m a Bank of America fan – I’m pissed off with the Guardian for describing Anonymous as a “hacker group”.

The Wikipedia article on Anonymous. describes it well – it says:

is an Internet meme originating 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many on-line community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain.[1] It is also generally considered to be a blanket term for members of certain Internet subcultures, a way to refer to the actions of people in an environment where their actual identities are not known.

Anonymous is not a hacker group in the sense you’d usually expect: there’s no organization, no hierarchy, no agreed agenda. Anyone with the required know-how and/or tools can do some cyber-vandalism or cut-and-paste someone’s email, then say it was done by Anonymous.

So who is Anonymous? Everyone. No one. Me. You. Anyone. Please bear that in mind next time you see a report that “Anonymous” did something.

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


Assange extradition hearing day 1: can he get a fair trial in Sweden

07/02/2011

Today, 7 Feb 2011, Wikileaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange attended Belmarsh magistrates court, London, for the first day of his extradition hearing. Prosecutors in Sweden want to put him on trial for “molestation” – an odd law, perhaps found only in Sweden, which can classify consensual sex as some sort of crime.

Assange’s lawyer believes that all the negative publicity attracted to case makes a fair trial in Sweden impossible. But of course, what Assange really believes that Sweden will in turn extradite him to the USA, where various commentators and politicians have declared him guilty of treason(?) and espionage and are calling for the death penalty. A bizarre situation, as it wasn’t Assange that illegally obtained the American cables at the centre of this palaver – he merely published them, as did the New York Times, the Guardian and the Spiegel.

I’m very concerned that this mad chain of events will result with Assange in a US jail cell. Maybe on Death Row, if some idiots get their way. And for what: publishing a bunch of diplomatic cables, some of which are embarrassing to various people and organizations, but none of the revelations has put anyone in danger. It’s all a re-run of the Gary McKinnon affair, where another American administration was embarrassed and tried to strike back. Let’s hope that the USA will see sense and withdraw their ridiculous allegations. And that Britain will grow enough balls to tell the USA to STFU.

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


EFF on direct action against internet censorship

22/12/2010

Recently, the Wikileaks case has brought the subject of online censorship into the limelight: Amazon and EveryDNS withdrawing their services to Wikileaks, apparently due to US government pressure, has brought up some important questions: just who “owns” the internet? Is it right that access to “sensitive” info should be cut, even though that info doesn’t really compromise “national security” but just embarrasses politicians?

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has compiled a list of tools and schemes that can be used by individuals in a “direct action” type fashion. The EFF doesn’t advocate stuff like Distributed Denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks or tools like the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) that make DDOS attacks easier to engage in; but the list includes tools and services like Tor(an “anonymizing overlay network”), BitCoin(a decentralized internet currency) and the Dot-P2P Project(an “alternative DNS hierarchy that resists censorship”).

These tools and services will make it much harder for any central authority to limit our access to information. And as the EFF cocedes in the article, its list is nowhere near exhaustive – there are a lot of other projects that do similar stuff. If you are anti-censorship, check out the article then do a bit of googling of your own to arm yourself. We may need these tools sooner than you think!

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


Wikileaks.org is back up! Not a *huge* victory for freedom and common sense – but a victory nevertheless

15/12/2010

On 3 December, we reported that you could no longer reach the Wikileaks site by using the wikileaks.org URL. Well, that is no longer the case: aim your browser at “http://wikileaks.org” and you get rerouted to http://mirror.wikileaks.info/ – one of the many, many mirrors that sprouted after the USA’s clumsy efforts to limit free speech. Not a major victory by any means. But a victory nevertheless.

In other (Wikileaks/Assange-related) news: Julian Assange is still in prison even though he was granted bail yesterday. The Swedish prosecutors have appealed against the bail ruling, claiming that he would pose a major flight risk. I’m not sure how the Swedes think he’ll flee: Assange’s face must be one of the best known in border security circles, plus they have his passport… but as things stand, he must remain in HMP Wandsworth for at leat another couple of days while this judicial circus runs its course.

This case is highlighting the problems with the new European arrest warrant system. Usually, it is only possible to extradite someone if the crime he’s accused of is also a crime in the country he’s “hiding” in. As far as I can tell, Assange’s alleged crimes are not illegal in Britain (what the Swedes call “rape” and “sexual molestation” are very different to the UK’s definitions – I believe one of the charges relates to Assange refusing to use a condom; the complainant admits that the sex was consensual, so how in hell can this be called a crime? He didn’t force her to have unprotected sex).

Anyway, a blog like this one is not really a good place to discuss the intricacies of Swedish law. But what I will say is this: Sweden has got very accommodating rendition agreements with the USA. If Assange is extradited to Sweden, it won’t be long before he ends up in America. And if you look at what politicians are saying about Assange it’s pretty clear he won’t receive a free trial and he’ll end up on a slab.

But do these people really believe that Assange is Wikileaks? The leaks will continue, regardless of his fate. All that will happen is that Assange’s colleagues will improve their security and anonymity. Killing (or imprisoning) Assange will not kill Wikileaks. And all politicians need to beware: if they treat Assange like a piece of shit, the leaks will become more and more damaging to the so-called “liberal” European “democracies” who are currently baying for his blood. So watch out, fools: the day of reckoning is nearly upon us… and you.

UPDATE: I just noticed this, a page that lists the very many sites that are mirroring Wikileaks in an attempt to stop the authorities ever again closing them down. Well, when I say “stop”, I actually mean “make it very difficult”. The USA has already demonstrated the length of its reach. But when Wikileaks is mirrored in a huge number of countries, some of whom dislike America intensely, the job of censorship becomes much more difficult.

There’s also info on the page about how you too can mirror Wikileaks on your web server. I say go for it! I think it’s about time that the USA learned what “democracy” actually means: rule by the people for the people; not rule by a bunch of rich geezers on behalf of their billionaire buddies. Or is my dictionary out of date?

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


Wikileaks STILL offline

06/02/2010

OMG what’s going on with Wikileaks? The site wikileaks.org has been offline for some time now, apparently because of funding issues. According to metaparadigma.de:

To underline the necessity of financial help, Wikileaks has gone offline until January, 11th. The website currently states:

To concentrate on raising the funds necessary to keep us alive into 2010, we have reluctantly suspended all other operations, until Jan 11.

Find more information on how you can (financially) support and contribute to Wikileaks here…

Well, it’s Feb 6 now – which comes after Jan 11… and Wikileaks is still offline. And there’s no explanation on the front page; there is no front page! All I get now is a blank screen. Which means there is no message explaining how we can donate money to them. WTF is going on?!! Don’t they want our money any more? Have they given up in the face of a hostile capitalism? Have the bad guys won?

If you use archive.org’s Wayback Machine to look at wikileak.org’s front page in the past, you’ll see an announcement that begins: “Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable system for untracable mass document leaking and public analysis.” But what’s happened here very clearly demonstrates that Wikileaks is vulnerable to censorship by money and the lack thereof. It looks like for the want of funds, Wikileaks has fallen. Will it get back up? I dunno… But it doesn’t look good. If we don’t know how and where to send donations, we can’t send the money Wikileaks needs so badly. If anyone reading this can tell us where to send donations, please do so either in the Comments for this post or via the contact form.

I hope we haven’t seen the last of Wikileaks. It did a lot to help the cause of free speech and made it pretty safe for whistleblowers to blow their whistles. So come on Wikileaks! I don’t want to tell you to rest in peace.

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


%d bloggers like this: