WikiLeaks releases more than half a million US diplomatic cables from the momentous year of 1979
By Julian Assange
Today, 28th November 2016, marking the six year anniversiary of “Cablegate”, WikiLeaks expands its Public Library of US Diplomacy (PLUSD) with over half a million (531,525) diplomatic cables from 1979.
If any year could be said to be the “year zero” of our modern era, 1979 is it.
In the Middle East, the Iranian revolution, the Saudi Islamic uprising and the Egrypt-Israel Camp David accord led not only to the present regional power dynamic but decisively changed the relationship between oil, militant Islam and the world.
The uprising at Mecca permanently shifted Saudi Arabia towards Wahhabism, leading to the transnational spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the US-Saudi destabilisation of Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden would leave his native Saudi Arabia for Pakistan to support the Afghan Mujahideen.
The invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR would see Saudi Arabia and the CIA push billions to Mujahideen fighters as part of Operation Cyclone, fomenting the rise of al-Qaeda and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
The 1979 current of Islamification spread to Pakistan where the US embassy was burned to the ground and Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed.
The Iranian hostage crisis would go on to fatally undermine Jimmy Carter’s presidency and see the election of Ronald Reagan.
Saddam Hussein? Took power in 1979.
The rise of al-Qaeda eventually bore the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, enabling the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and over a decade of war, leaving, at its end, the ideological, financial and geographic basis for ISIS.
The Iranian revolution and Saddam Hussein’s rise to power and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war would connect with the 1979 Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua to produce the Iran-Contra affair and the indictment of 12 US administration officials including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.
Elsewhere, Thatcher won in the UK, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, Idi Amin fled Uganda and the ANC made the decision to militarily resist Apartheid.
In the United States, the Three Mile Island nuclear incident led to a turning away from the construction and development of new nuclear reactors, increasing the reliance on oil and coal for decades.
While the 1979 SALT II agreements made some progress in reducing the risk of nuclear war, nuclear preparations and testing were stepped up elsewhere. The US decided to place Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe and a South African/Israeli nuclear test was detected by US early warning satellites.
China officially came in from the cold and Deng Xiaoping visited the United States in a defining strategic re-orientation by both states.
In 1979 it seemed as if the blood would never stop. Dozens of countries saw assassinations, coups, revolts, bombings, political kidnappings and wars of liberation.
In the extremes and contestations of the Cold War, 1979 saw some grim culture to go with the times: ACDC produced Highway to Hell, Stanley Kubrick gave us Apocalypse Now, while for Pink Floyd it was just ‘another brick in the wall.’
The Carter Cables III bring WikiLeaks’ total published US diplomatic cable collection to 3.3 million documents.
What follows are some example areas of events from 1979 covered in the new documents.
- 1 US and China resume diplomatic relations
- 7 Pol Pot deposed following Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia
- 16 Shah flees Iran
- 28 China’s leader Deng Xiaoping visits US
- 1 Khomeni returns to Iran
- 3 Khomeni creates Council of Islamic Revolution
- 10 Iranian Revolution
- 17 China invades northern Vietnam
- 18 Snow in the Sahara
- 25 Rhodesia bombs Angola ZIPRA camps in Operation Vanity
- 13 Coup in Grenada
- 15 Herat uprising in Afghanistan
- 26 Sadat and Begin sign Egypt-Israel peace treaty
- 28 Three Mile Island nuclear incident
- 30 British Conservative MP Airey Neave assassinated with car bomb
- 1 Iran overthrows Shah officially: Iran becomes the Islamic Republic through national referendum
- 2 Anthrax epidemic in Russia following biological weapons plant accident
- 4 Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is executed
- 11 Tanzanian invasion of Uganda; revolt against Idi Admin; fall of Kampala
- 17 IRA bombing kills four Ulster Constabulary at Bestbrooke, Northern Ireland
- 1 Greenland granted partial autonomy from Denmark
- 4 Margaret Thatcher elected Prime Minister
- 25 American Airlines flight 191 explodes near Chicago
- 4 Canada’s Pierre Trudeau defeated; Coup in Ghana
- 18 Carter and Brezhnev sign Salt II arms treaty
- 25 Baader-Meinhof assassination attempt in Belgium of NATO Supreme Allied Commander
- 16 Saddam Hussein takes power in Iraq
- 21 Sandinistas defeat Samoza in Nicaragua
- 28 Indian PM Charan Singh elected
- 3 Equatorial Guinea coup
- 5 Polisario Front signs peace agreement with Mauritania
- 11 Morocco annexes Western Sahara territory previously controlled by Mauritania
- 23 South Africa bombs ZIPRA camps in Zambia in Operation Motel
- 27 Eighteen UK soldiers killed by IRA at Warrentpoint, South Down
- 3-9 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement
- 14 US-Colombia extradition treaty negotiated, opposed by Pablo Escobar cartel
- 20 Bokassa overthrown in Central African Republic via France’s Operation Barracuda
- 22 South African and Israeli nuclear test detected by US Vela satellite in southern Atlantic Ocean
- 29 President Nguema of Equatorial Guinea executed
- 1 First democratic elections in Nigeria; the birth of the second republic
- 15 Coup in El Salvador
- 16 French town of Nice hit by tsunami
- 26 President of South Korea Park Chung-hee assassinated
- 4 Iranian hostage crisis begins; 3000 raid US embassy, 90 hostages
- 14 Carter issues Executive Order 12170 freezing all Iranian assets
- 15 Blunt outed as the 4th man in Cambridge spy ring
- 20 Hajj hostage crisis in Saudi Arabia
- 21 US embassy in Islamabad set afire after false reports from Khomeni that US occupied Mecca
- 11 Three of the ANC’s “Pretoria Six” escape from Pretoria Central Prison (Moumbaris, Jenkin & Lee)
- 12 Decision to locate US Cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe
- 12 South Korea military coup
- 21 Lancaster House agreement signed leading to the creation of Zimbabwe and the election of Mugabe
- 24 USSR invasion of Afghanistan
Wed May 27, 2015 02:30am GMT
WikiLeaks releases more than half a million US diplomatic cables from 1978
By Julian Assange
Today WikiLeaks has released more than half a million US State Department cables from 1978. The cables cover US interactions with, and observations of, every country.
1978 was an unusually important year in geopolitics. The year saw the start of a great many political conflicts and alliances which continue to define the present world order, as well as the rise of still-important personalities and political dynasties.
The cables document the start of the Iranian Revolution, leading to the stand-off between Iran and the West (1979 – present); the Second Oil Crisis; the Afghan conflict (1978 – present); the Lebanon–Israel conflict (1978 – present); the Camp David Accords; the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and the subsequent conflict with US proxies (1978 – 1990); the 1978 Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia; the Ethiopian invasion of Eritrea; Carter’s critical decision on the neutron bomb; the break-up of the USSR’s nuclear-powered satellite over Canada, which changed space policy; the US “playing the China card” against Russia; Brzezinski’s visit to China, which led to the subsequent normalisation of relations and a proxy war in Cambodia; with the US, UK, China and Cambodia on one side and Vietnam and the USSR on the other.
Through 1978, Zbigniew “Zbig” Brzezinski was US National Security Advisor. He would become the architect of the destabilisation of Soviet backed Afghanistan through the use of Islamic militants, elements of which would later become known as al-Qaeda. Brzezinski continues to affect US policy as an advisor to Obama. He has been especially visible in the recent conflict between Russia and the Ukraine.
WikiLeaks’ Carter Cables II comprise 500,577 US diplomatic cables and other diplomatic communications from and to US embassies and missions in nearly every country. It follows on from the Carter Cables (368,174 documents from 1977), which WikiLeaks published in April 2014.
The Carter Cables II bring WikiLeaks total published US diplomatic cable collection to 2.7 million documents.
What follows are some example areas.
There are 5,569 new documents on Lebanon. For example, the 1978 – present Israel–Lebanon conflict is widely regarded to have started on 14 March 1978, when Israel invaded Southern Lebanon in Operation Litani. There are 386 cables containing the keyword “Litani” (see here)
There are 11,689 new documents on Israel (see here). A portion of these refer to the September 17 Camp David Accords, signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, with US President Jimmy Carter as witness. The Accords called for a formal peace treaty and establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Egypt, Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in stages, and a transitional period of Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza. Egypt and Israel later signed a formal peace treaty in 1979, ending 31 years of war between the two countries. PlusD has 855 new documents with the keywords “Camp David Accords” (see here), including numerous cables on reactions around the world.
There are 5,692 new documents on Iran (see here). 1978 saw the beginning of the Iranian Revolution, which would culminate in the 1979 overthrow of the US- and UK-installed Shah of Iran. On 8 September, a day after the Iranian government declared martial law, thousands of protesters gathered in Jaleh Square in Tehran to demonstrate. The military eventually opened fire, and later estimates claimed that thousands died. Called “Black Friday” by the media, that day is said to be a key moment in the Iranian Revolution. Large protests against the Shah were ongoing throughout 1978. PlusD has 175 new documents with TAG “Iran” and containing the keyword “demonstration” (see here). The British embassy in Tehran was also burned during this period.
There are 1,369 new documents on Tunisia (see here). One significant event, which has shaped Tunisian political life, occurred when a labour strike on 26 January called by the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) became a general uprising. It became known as “Black Thursday” when Tunisian security forces fired on citizens, killing an estimated 200 people. PlusD has 200 new documents containing the keywords “UGTT” (see here).
There are 944 new documents on Yemen (see here). One example of events during the year occurred when Yemeni President Ahmad al-Ghashmi was assassinated on 24 June, which led to a political configuration in the Arabian peninsula which is still felt today. PlusD has 81 documents with keyword “al-Ghashmi” (see here), including some with speculation about who set off the explosion that killed him, which is not conclusively known.
There are 3,343 new documents on Pakistan (see here). For instance, on 18 March former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (father of the 1990s PM Benazir Bhutto, who was subsequently assassinated) was sentenced to death by hanging for authorising the assassination of a political opponent. PlusD has 430 new documents with keyword “Bhutto” and TAG “Pakistan” (see here).
There are 4,990 new documents on India (see here) covering many signficant events and still influential personalities. For example:
- On 1 January, an Air India Flight 855, a Boeing 747, crashed shortly after take-off near Mumbai, killing all 213 passengers and crew on board. PlusD contains 179 new cables referring to “Air India”, most of which are about the crash (see here).
- Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi (daughter of PM Nehru) was re-elected to Parliament on 7 November, but then arrested on 19 December, accused of plotting against her opponents during the state of emergency she had declared from 1975 to 1977. She later became Prime Minister again in 1980 and the dynastic domination of the Congress Party continued, first through her sons Sanjay and Rajiv and later through the latter’s wife, Sonia, who is current president of the party. Rajiv’s son Rahul was the Congress candidate in India’s 2014 election, losing to the BJP’s Narenda Modi. PlusD contains 53 new documents with the keyword “Indira Gandhi” (see here) and 154 new documents with the keyword “Mrs Gandhi” (see here) as well other cables related to the Gandhi dynasty.
- On 13 April, violence broke out between orthodox Sikhs and the Nirankari sect during a Nirankari convention in Amritsar, Punjab; 16 were killed and 100 injured. This event is noted as one of the starting points leading up to the Punjab insurgency during the 1980s and Indian military occupation of the region in Operation Blue Star (1984). PlusD has 3 new documents containing the keywords “Sikh” and “Nirankari” (see here).
- The Indian cricket team did a two-month tour of Pakistan, ending in a finale on 18 November. Indian Information Minister Adavni attended the finale in Karachi, and the match was a political event in both countries. PlusD contains 6 new documents with the keywords “Pakistan” and “cricket” (see here).
There are 5,422 new documents on China (see here).
For example, a number of cables discuss US National Security Advisor Zbigniew “ZBig” Brzezinski’s trip to China. US strategy was to orient China against the Soviet Union and the trip led to formal US recognition of China shortly thereafter. PlusD has 175 new documents with keyword “Brzezinski” and TAG “China” (see here).
There are 9,974 new documents referring to “Europe” and 18,531 referring to “European”. For example, after considerable controversy, in April President Carter decided to defer production of the neutron bomb, or Enhanced Radiation Weapon (ERW), a nuclear weapon designed to kill enemy (that is, Soviet) soldiers with radiation. Carter’s decision frustrated pro-US European leaders, who had spent political capital to support the slated US deployment of the weapons system. PlusD contains 704 new documents with the keywords “neutron bomb” (see here) and 428 new documents with the keyword “ERW” (see here).
There are 11,476 new documents on East Germany (see here) and 7,638 on West Germany (see here), some of which may overlap. For instance, in January the German magazine Der Spiegel published an SED manifesto that was strongly anti-Soviet, calling for reunification and liberal reforms. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) reacted by accusing Der Spiegel of slander and closing the East German Der Spiegel office. PlusD contains 296 new documents with the keyword “Spiegel” (see here). Some of the cables include details of and reactions to the manifesto publication, including, for example, accusations of Der Spiegel working for West Germany in subversive activity against the GDR.
There are 10,253 new documents on the UK (see here). The cables contain a number of reports on Lord Carver’s efforts to settle independence disputes in Rhodesia and discussions on trade, among other things. For instance, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary organisation wanting to separate Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom, bombed the La Mon restaurant/hotel in County Down, killing 12 people in February. Another notable event for Northern Ireland occurred in January when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK was guilty of inhuman and degrading treatment of its Northern Ireland prisoners; the ruling, however, did not consider the UK’s interrogation techniques to be torture. PlusD has 253 new documents with the keyword “IRA” (see here) and 787 with the keyword “Northern Ireland” (see here).
There are 8,892 new documents on France (see here). The following are just some examples of significant events related to France that occurred througout the year.
- On 16 March, a US-owned oil tanker, Amoco Cadiz, crashed off the coast of Brittany, France and sank. It left 230,000 tons of oil along 72 km of the French shoreline, which expanded to approximately 160 km during the following month. It was then the largest recorded oil spill in history and was estimated to have caused US $250 million in damage. US scientists studying the spill said that it was the largest biological kill of marine life ever recorded. PlusD has 108 new documents with the keywords “Amoco Cadiz” (see here).
- The French auto company Peugeot’s purchase of Chrysler’s European subsidiaries was closely followed by the US government. The Federal Trade Commission also investigated the sale that year. PlusD has 18 new cables containing the keywords “Peugeot” and “Chrysler” (see here).
- France maintained a close interest in Algeria following the Algerian War and Algeria’s full independence in 1962. PlusD contains 16 new cables with the keywords “Boumediene” and “Giscard” (see here).
- Rebels in the Shaba separatist movement FNLC invaded Zaire’s Shaba province on 11 May, capturing the city of Kolwezi on 12 May. The government of Zaire asked for French and Belgian assistance with the uprising, and French and Belgian forces later undertook an airborne operation to rescue European and Zairian hostages held by the FNLC rebels. The US provided some assistance to the operation. PlusD has 173 new documents with keywords “Zaire” and “rebels” (see here), some of which give details of the US government’s reaction to the invasion, its initial concern for American citizens in Kolwezi, and its careful monitoring of press reports on the issue.
- France conducted a series of 29 nuclear tests from 1975 to 1978. PlusD contains 18 new documents with keywords “nuclear” and “tests”, with TAG “France” (see here).
- The Hollywood film director and producer Roman Polanski fled to France in 1978 after pleading guilty to sex charges. PlusD contains 4 new documents with the keyword “Polanski” (see here).
There are 16,584 new documents on the Soviet Union (see here), reporting a number of international negotiations, agreements and events. For example, on 24 January the Soviet satellite Cosmos 954 re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and scattered radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories. The incident was an anti-Soviet propaganda coup for the US, which was also interested in obtaining samples of Soviet space technology. PlusD contains 182 documents with the keywords “Cosmos 954” (see here).
There are 5,740 new documents on South Africa (see here). For example, by 1978 South Africa’s nuclear weapons programme was in full swing, with assistance from Israel. PlusD contains 144 new classified cables documenting US diplomatic intelligence on the programme (see here).
Other cables document, for instance, the reaction to the killing of noted anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who was beaten to death in police custody in late 1977. Biko’s friend, South African journalist and anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods, fled to London after severe harassment by the South African government. Woods continued his anti-apartheid work from London, and later spoke to the UN Security Council about his experiences. PlusD contains 115 new documents referring to Steve Biko, 42 of which refer to Woods (see here).
There are 2,946 new documents on Ethiopia (see here). Cables document, for example, how Ethiopia’s Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia (PMGSE) began a major offensive in Eritrea (which it had been prepping for some time). PlusD has 71 new documents with keywords “Ethiopia”, “offensive” and “Eritrea” (see here).
There are 1,593 new documents on Tanzania. One particularly significant event during the year occurred when strained relations between Tanzania and Uganda broke out into war, eventually leading to the overthrow of Ugandan President Idi Amin in 1979. PlusD contains 76 new documents with the keywords “Tanzania”, “Uganda” and “war” (see here). The cables contain, among other things, reports from the US ambassador to Tanzania James Spain on media coverage and public mood.
There are 85,893 new documents on the US (see here). One significant event occurred on 18 November when Jim Jones, founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, led hundreds of his followers to commit mass murder-suicide in his settlement of Jonestown, Guyana. In total, 909 members died, including Jones himself – 304 of these were children. They had all died of cyanide poisoning, some via injection and others via cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. PlusD has 333 new documents with the keyword “Jonestown” (see here) and 702 new documents with the keywords “Peoples Temple”. For instance, one cable contains text of a note found on Jones’ body (see here).
There are 3,422 new documents on Nicaragua (see here). A number of cables give insight to an ongoing conflict between the Sandinistas and the ruling Somoza regime. The conflict erupted when the editor of an opposition newspaper, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, was assassinated on 10 January. After his murder an estimated 30,000 people rioted in Managua, and the government responded with violence and martial law. In the following two years the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) took over the country until President Somoza resigned in July 1979, leaving the revolutionaries in power. PlusD contains 230 new documents with the keyword “Sandinista” and TAG “Nicaragua” (see here).
There are 3,740 new documents on Brazil (see here). For example, those documenting the election of ARENA party candidate João Figueiredo, who won over MDB’s Euler Bentes Monteiro with 355 electoral votes to 226. PlusD contains 242 new documents with the keyword “Figueiredo” (see here).
There are 3,354 new documents on Argentina (see here). One event mentioned extensively in these cables is a border dispute between Argentina and Chile over the possession of several islands in the Beagle Channel. The dispute nearly started a war when Argentina began Operation Soberanía, intended to occupy the islands by military force. The new cables document long negotiations throughout 1978. Afterwards, a solution for both sides was achieved through papal mediation. PlusD has 444 new documents with keywords “Argentina”, “Chile” and “Beagle” (see here). Argentina also hosted the 1978 Football World Cup, which included attendance by Henry Kissinger. PlusD contains 57 new documents with the keywords “Argentina” and “World Cup” (see here).
There are 2,230 new documents on Ecuador (some may overlap with documents on the European Community) (see here). A number of these cables concern the constitutional referendum on 15 January. Voters chose the new constitution over a revised version of the old one. The issue held great public interest, and voter turnout was approximately 87 per cent. PlusD has 79 new documents containing the keywords “Ecuador” and “constitution” (see here).
There are 3,289 new documents on Indonesia (see here). By 1978 there were increasing student demonstrations protesting against various aspects of Suharto’s rule, including the lack of presidential term limits. A number of student activists were imprisoned, and Suharto established the “Normalization of Campus Life” in April. PlusD contains 21 new cables with the keywords “Indonesia”, “student” and “activists” (see here). There are 2 new cables containing the phrase “Normalization of Campus Life” (see here).
There are 3,168 new documents on Australia (see here). The cables document, for example, Australia’s difficult relationship with Indonesia and the fall-out over Indonesia’s 1975 occupation of East Timor.
Sun Apr 7, 2013 21:00 EST
WIKILEAKS SPECIAL PROJECT K: THE KISSINGER CABLES
‘Investigative journalism has never been this effective!’ – Publico
The Kissinger Cables are part of today’s launch of the WikiLeaks Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), which holds the world’s largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of its launch on April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words.
WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange stated: “The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on Earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.”
THE KISSINGER CABLES
“The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” — Henry A. Kissinger, US Secretary of State, March 10, 1975: http://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/P860114-1573_MC_b.html#efmCS3CUB
The Kissinger Cables comprise more than 1.7 million US diplomatic records for the period 1973 to 1976, including 205,901 records relating to former US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. Dating from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 1976 they cover a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence. They include more than 1.3 million full diplomatic cables and 320,000 originally classified records. These include more than 227,000 cables classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and 61,000 cables classified as “SECRET”. Perhaps more importantly, there are more than 12,000 documents with the sensitive handling restriction “NODIS” or ‘no distribution’, and more than 9,000 labelled “Eyes Only”.
At around 700 million words, the Kissinger Cables collection is approximately five times the size of WikiLeaks’ Cablegate. The raw PDF data is more than 380 Gigabytes in size and is the largest WikiLeaks publication to date.
WikiLeaks’ media partners will be reporting throughout the week on their findings. These include significant revelations about US involvements with fascist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America, under Franco’s Spain (including about the Spanish royal family) and in Greece under the regime of the Colonels.
The documents also contain hourly diplomatic reporting on the 1973 war between Israel, Egypt and Syria (the “Yom Kippur war”). While several of these documents have been used by US academic researchers in the past, the Kissinger Cables provides unparalled access to journalists and the general public.
Most of the records were reviewed by the United States Department of State’s systematic 25-year declassification process. At review, the records were assessed and either declassified or kept classified with some or all of the metadata records declassified. Both sets of records were then subject to an additional review by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Once believed to be releasable, they were placed as individual PDFs at the National Archives as part of their Central Foreign Policy Files collection. Despite the review process supposedly assessing documents after 25 years there are no diplomatic records later than 1976. The formal declassification and review process of these extremely valuable historical documents is therefore currently running 12 years late.
The form in which these documents were held at NARA was as 1.7 million individual PDFs. To prepare these documents for integration into the PlusD collection, WikiLeaks obtained and reverse-engineered all 1.7 million PDFs and performed a detailed analysis of individual fields, developed sophisticated technical systems to deal with the complex and voluminous data and corrected a great many errors introduced by NARA, the State Department or its diplomats, for example harmonizing the many different ways in which departments, capitals and people’s names were spelt. All our corrective work is referenced and available from the links in the individual field descriptions on the PlusD text search interface: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd
RECLASSIFICATION ATTEMPTS THWARTED
The CIA and other agencies have attempted to reclassify or withhold sections of the US National Archives. Detailed minutes of US State Department meetings show that these attempts, which originated under the Bush II administration, have continued on through until at least 2009. A 2006 analysis by the US National Security Archives, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at George Washington University, found that 55,000 pages had been secretly reclassified.
The censorship of the US National Archives was thrown into stark relief in November last year when the Archive censored all searches for ‘WikiLeaks’ from its records. See http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2012/11/03/us-national-archives-has-blocked-searches-for-wikileaks/
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ publisher, said: “The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organisation with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy.”
Media Organizations Given Advanced Access
- Australia – Fairfax (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Canberra Times and the Australian Fianancial Review)
- Argentina – Pagina 12
- Brazil – Publica
- Bulgaria – Bivol
- Egypt – Al Masry Al Youm
- Greece – Ta Nea
- Guatemala – Plaza Publica
- Haiti – Haiti Liberte
- India – The Hindu
- Italy – L’Espresso
- Italy – La Repubblica
- Lebanon – Al Akhbar
- Mexico – La Jornada
- Spain – Publico
- Sweden – Aftonbladet
- UK – Press Association
- US – Associated Press
- US – The Nation
The National Press Club The Holeman Lounge 529 14th St. NW 13th Floor Washington, DC 20045 +1 202-662-7500
Monday April 8th at 9am (Washington time)
WikiLeaks Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson is available for interviews after the press conference please make arrangements with Melanie Lerardi [email protected] or +1 (202) 662 7502 alternatively you can call Kristinn directly on +3548217121 or email [email protected]
WIKILEAKS AND JULIAN ASSANGE
After WikiLeaks’ publication of Pentagon and State Department documents in 2010, the White House launched a multi-agency investigation into WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange. The investigation includes the Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI, the State Department, the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) among others. The DoJ / FBI investigation is ongoing, as is its associated Grand Jury in Alexandria, Virginia, which is headed up by District Attorney Neil McBride, a current candidate for the FBI directorship.
A number of senior political figures in the United States have called for the assassination, extraordinary rendition or kidnapping of Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks staff and for the execution of WikiLeaks US sources: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQW0US2sJw
The Grand Jury has coercively forced numerous people to give testimony in secret and to do so without the presence of a judge or defence lawyer. The actions of the Grand Jury, including issuing PATRIOT Act ‘subpeonas’ against Twitter, Google and other companies, is the subject of ongoing legal proceedings.
On 1 February this year, the Associated Press reported that the FBI was conducting an illegal investigation into WikiLeaks’ activities in Iceland. This investigation was discovered by the Icelandic Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, who ordered the FBI to leave and issued a formal diplomatic protest to the United States.
Julian Assange, an Australian, was granted political asylum on 19 August 2012 by the government of Ecuador. He remains under their protection in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. British police have surrounded the embassy and the British government admits to spending more than $4.5 million on this policing presence so far. Contrary to international law, the United Kingdom refuses to grant Julian Assange safe passage to Ecuador, saying that he must be extradited to Sweden to answer questions. He has not been charged with an offence in either country and the chief of the Swedish Supreme Court says there is no legal reason why Swedish police cannot go to London should they wish to speak to him.
By 8 April 2013 Julian Assange will have been imprisoned, detained under house arrest in the United Kingdom, and unable to leave the protective custody of the Ecuadorian Embassy for a total of 854 days.
On 11 April 2013 a feature film about Julian Assange’s formative years will open the Washington DC International Film Festival: http://www.filmfestdc.org
Julian Assange is a popular figure in his native Australia, where he is running for the Australian Senate. The latest poll, by Labour party polling outfit UMR, showed he had 27 per cent of the voting intention: http://wikileaksparty.org.au/
For further information see: http://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html and https://usvwikileaks.org and http://justice4assange.com/
An alleged WikiLeaks source, intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, now aged 25, was arrested on 26 May 2010 by US Army investigators. Manning was detained under extreme conditions in Kuwait and Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. The United Nations Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez formally found these conditions to amount to “cruel and abusive treatment” akin to torture. Judge Denise Lind of the US military court found that his conditions were illegal. After the resignation of Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P. J. Crowley over the issue, Manning was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Quantico barracks were decommissioned. Mr. Manning’s defence team said that the abusive treatment may have been in order to break Mr. Manning into turning State’s witness against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
By 8 April 2013 Bradley Manning will have been detained without trial for 1049 days, the longest detention without trial of a US soldier in modern history. His trial is said by Guantnamo beat reporters to be more secret that the military commissions held against al Quada suspects. It is scheduled for 2 June 2013 at Fort Meade, Maryland. WikiLeaks, the Center for Constitutional Rights and more than 30 other media organizations have filed suit against the US military for the abuse of secrecy used in prosecuting the case.
ECONOMIC CENSORSHIP: BANKING BLOCKADE
After documented political pressure, including from Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King, VISA, MasterCard, Bank of America, PayPal, Western Union, AMEX, Diners Club, Discover and JCB erected an extra-legal banking blockade against the WikiLeaks organization and its donors. The blockade is the subject of ongoing litigation and a resolution by the European Parliament. It has been condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, the New York Times, Reporters Without Borders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, and numerous other organizations.
The fiscal blockade against WikiLeaks is similar to that conducted against the central banks of Cuba and Iran, however, unlike these two countries, the WikiLeaks blockade is being conducted with no known legal or administrative basis. In fact, the US Secretary of the Treasury found in early 2011 that there was no legal reason to place WikiLeaks under a US embargo. Due to the market dominance of VISA, MasterCard and PayPal, the extra-legal action has cut off 95 per cent of WikiLeaks’ income stream, costing the organization more than $50 million dollars.
All litigation todate has been won by WikiLeaks and its partners, but the blockade continues. An appeal, lodged by Valitor (Visa Iceland) is to be heard by the Icelandic Supreme Court on April 15, 2013.
BREAKING THE BLOCKADE: THE US FREEDOM OF THE PRESS FOUNDATION
In December 2012 Daniel Ellsberg, John Cusack, John Perry Barlow, Glenn Greenwald and others launched the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which allows US citizens to bypass the blockade to make tax-deductable and anonymous donations to WikiLeaks. For more information go to: http://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-declares-war-on-banking.html