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Julian Assange makes his first public appearance in two months, ever since he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder was granted political asylum on Thursday — a decision that ignited a wave of international responses, with the UK and Sweden opposing the verdict and Latin American countries strongly supporting Ecuador’s move. MORE INFO & PHOTOS: http://on.rt.com/2gkwzk
Manning, who is currently being held at the Fort Leavenworth military facility in Kansas on suspicion that he was the source of the WikiLeaks trove of US state secrets, was at that time training at Fort Drum in upstate New York.
In the chats, Manning uses the internet handle bradass87, while Antolak goes by ZJ (or on YouTube as Zinnia Jones). In the course of their cyber-discussions, Manning describes his life in the army and its discriminatory don’t ask don’t tell (DADT) policy towards gays, talks about his time in a Welsh school, life at home with his father in Oklahoma, his thoughts on terror suspects detained in Guantánamo, as well as his views on religion and foreign affairs.
The chats can be sketchy and at times mundane, but they are revealing about the character and outlook of the man who stands accused of supplying the largest leak of official secrets in history.
The logs have been edited in three places to protect the privacy of a third party.
The WikiLeaks founder says he also believes the internet is not a technology that favours freedom of speech
Julian Assange told students at Cambridge that the internet is 'the greatest spying machine the world has ever seen'. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA
The internet is the “greatest spying machine the world has ever seen” and is not a technology that necessarily favours the freedom of speech, the WikiLeaks co-founder, Julian Assange, has claimed in a rare public appearance.
Assange acknowledged that the web could allow greater government transparency and better co-operation between activists, but said it gave authorities their best ever opportunity to monitor and catch dissidents.
“While the internet has in some ways an ability to let us know to an unprecedented level what government is doing, and to let us co-operate with each other to hold repressive governments and repressive corporations to account, it is also the greatest spying machine the world has ever seen,” he told students at Cambridge University. Hundreds queued for hours to attend.
He continued: “It [the web] is not a technology that favours freedom of speech. It is not a technology that favours human rights. It is not a technology that favours civil life. Rather it is a technology that can be used to set up a totalitarian spying regime, the likes of which we have never seen. Or, on the other hand, taken by us, taken by activists, and taken by all those who want a different trajectory for the technological world, it can be something we all hope for.”
Assange also suggested that Facebook and Twitter played less of a role in the unrest in the Middle East than has previously been argued by social media commentators and politicians.
He said: “Yes [Twitter and Facebook] did play a part, although not nearly as large a part as al-Jazeera. But the guide produced by Egyptian revolutionaries … says on the first page, ‘Do not use Facebook and Twitter’, and says on the last page, ‘Do not use Facebook and Twitter’.
“There is a reason for that. There was actually a Facebook revolt in Cairo three or four years ago. It was very small … after it, Facebook was used to round-up all the principal participants. They were then beaten, interrogated and incarcerated.”
It is being reported by Russia Today that Whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning Whistleblower, responsible for the leak of is sitting in solitary confinement and not even being allowed to do push ups, according to the President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Stephen Soldz. (watch the video below) The Pentagon is, of course, disputing these allegations. In an odd, but perhaps unrelated story, the brig commander at Quantico was recently changed, a move that was said to have been “planned for months“, and part of regular military movement.
“This was a planned, regular-duty rotation. It just happened to be that everything fell in place when it did. It wasn’t situationally driven,” 1st Lt. Brian Villiard said in a telephone interview.
PFC Manning was recently placed on suicide watch for “prevention of injury”, a process of intense watch, and restriction of movement, and ability to exercise or do much of anything at all, a process which, in the analysis of the President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, would inspire thoughts of increased helplessness, and eventually of suicide. With nothing to do for 23 hours a day, this sort of psychological torture would also produce detachment, and memory problems, which is likely exactly what they intend to do to him before he is allowed to go to trial to potentially incriminate many.
It has been reported that supporters and journalists seeking to cover the story of Bradley Manning have been detained by Quantico.
Bradley is accused of released the so-called “Collateral Murder” video, which WikiLeaks published in April 2010, of a July 2007 helicopter airstrike in Baghdad that killed 2 Reuters journalists, including Noor Eldeen.
WikiLeaks released a 39-minute version, which shows all three incidents, and a 17 minute version, which shows only the first two attacks. Highlighted in the 17 minute version of the video are Noor-Eldeen with a camera and Chmagh talking on his mobile phone. Both videos depict the attack on the van, van driver, and two other men, and the aftermath when the two seriously injured children were evacuated by US ground forces who arrived on the scene. The longer video shows the third attack, in which Hellfire missiles were fired into a building.
We from AltNews.INFO ask our readers to keep Bradley Manning in your positive thoughts, lend him strength in his hour of persecution, for the strength of his mind and body is of the utmost importance to the human race in the fight against the globalist war machine. Bradley Manning represents a strike right at the heart of the military industrial complex, and he needs our support. Visit http://www.bradleymanning.org/ for more information on what you can do to lend your support.
By the time the conference call ended, it was nearly midnight at Bank of America’s headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., but the bank’s counterespionage work was only just beginning.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press Julian Assange has never said explicitly that the data he possesses comes from Bank of America, though he did say that the disclosure would take place sometime early this year.
A day earlier, on Nov. 29, the director of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, said in an interview that he intended to “take down” a major American bank and reveal an “ecosystem of corruption” with a cache of data from an executive’s hard drive. With Bank of America’s share price falling on the widely held suspicion that the hard drive was theirs, the executives on the call concluded it was time to take action.
Since then, a team of 15 to 20 top Bank of America officials, led by the chief risk officer, Bruce R. Thompson, has been overseeing a broad internal investigation — scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public, reviewing every case where a computer has gone missing and hunting for any sign that its systems might have been compromised.
In addition to the internal team drawn from departments like finance, technology, legal and communications, the bank has brought in Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm, to help manage the review. It has also sought advice from several top law firms about legal problems that could arise from a disclosure, including the bank’s potential liability if private information was disclosed about clients.
The company’s chief executive, Brian T. Moynihan, receives regular updates on the team’s progress, according to one Bank of America executive familiar with the team’s work, who, like other bank officials, was granted anonymity to discuss the confidential inquiry.
Whether Mr. Assange is bluffing, or indeed has Bank of America in its sights at all, the bank’s defense strategy represents the latest twist in the controversy over WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange.
The United States government has been examining whether Mr. Assange, an Australian, could be charged criminally for the release by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of classified Pentagon and State Department diplomatic cables that became the subject of articles in The New York Times and other publications last month.
The Swedish government is also seeking to question Mr. Assange about rape accusations against him. As he fights extradition from Britain in that case, he remains under house arrest in an English mansion. Mr. Assange has said the timing of the rape accusations was not coincidental, and that he was the victim of a smear campaign led by the United States government.
Despite his legal troubles, Mr. Assange’s threats have grown more credible with every release of secret documents, including those concerning the dumping of toxic waste in Africa, the treatment of prisoners held by the United States at Guantánamo Bay, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and, most recently, the trove of diplomatic cables.
That Mr. Assange might shift his attention to a private company — especially one as politically unpopular as Bank of America or any of its rivals, which have been stained by taxpayer-financed bailouts and the revelation of improper foreclosure practices — raises a new kind of corporate threat, combining elements of law, technology, public policy, politics and public relations.
“This is a significant moment, and Bank of America has to get out in front of it,” said Richard S. Levick, a veteran crisis communications expert. “Corporate America needs to look at what happens here, and how Bank of America handles it.”
Last month, the bank bought up Web addresses that could prove embarrassing to the company or its top executives in the event of a large-scale public assault, but a spokesman for the bank said the move was unrelated to any possible leak.
Then, on Dec. 18, Bank of America may have antagonized Mr. Assange further when it said it would join other companies like MasterCard and PayPal in halting the processing of payments intended for WikiLeaks, citing the possibility the organization’s activities might be illegal.
Mr. Assange has never said explicitly that the data he possesses comes from Bank of America, which is the nation’s largest bank, though he did say that the disclosure would take place sometime early this year.