News you may have missed #445

  • WikiLeaks files show Iranian involvement in Iraq. The latest WiliLeaks release of nearly 392,000 US military reports from Iraq shows, among other things, that Iran was a major combatant in the Iraq War. According to the documents, Tehran’s elite Quds Force trained Iraqi Shiite insurgents and imported weapons like Explosively Formed Projectile bombs into Iraq for use against civilians, Sunni militants and US troops.
  • WikiLeaks founder on the run. Julian Assange’s fate seems as imperiled as that of Private Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old former Army intelligence operative under detention in the US for leaking Iraq and Afghan war documents to WikiLeaks. Last Monday, Mr. Assange’s bid for a residence permit in Sweden was rejected. His British visa will expire early next year.
  • Money problems of US spies may threaten US security. Elizabeth Bancroft The executive director of the US Association of Former Intelligence Officers, has suggested that government agencies should monitor intelligence service employees with security clearances, who may have fallen into bankruptcy during the ongoing economic crisis. Spy agencies are worried that financial problems might leave these employees open to bribery or blackmail.

News you may have missed #437

  • Huge demand for spy balloons in Afghan war. The hottest US weapon in Afghanistan lacks a lethal capability, floats thousands of feet in the air and doesn’t carry troops. It’s a spy balloon. Similar contraptions have been making appearances at the Lebanese-Israeli border.
  • One, two, many WikiLeaks. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a defector from the WikiLeaks website has said he has decided to jump ship and is thinking of creating a competitor site to Julian Assange’s whistleblower platform.
  • Is publication of classified info a criminal act? When WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of classified US military records concerning the war in Afghanistan last July, did it commit a criminal act under US law? A US Congressional Research Service report argues that it did not.

Comment: What Can the US Do To Stop WikiLeaks?

Julian Assange

Julian Assange

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Ever since whistleblower site WikiLeaks published 77,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan, several pundits have urged US government agencies, including the Pentagon, to take action. Late last week, former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen urged the Pentagon to unleash its “cyber capabilities to prevent WikiLeaks from disseminating those materials”. Some columnists have even suggested that US intelligence services should “come up with an up-to-date photo of [WikiLeaks founder Julian] Assange and distribute it to […] SEAL sharpshooters”. Pentagon representatives have also stepped up their rhetoric, warning that “[i]f doing the right thing isn’t good enough for [WikiLeaks], we will figure out what alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing”.

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News you may have missed #404 (Wikileaks Afghan War Diary edition II)

  • Wikileaks posts mysterious ‘insurance’ file. WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website that recently published hundreds of thousands of classified Afghan War documents, has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance”, whose size dwarfs the size of all the other files on the page combined. Cryptome, a separate anti-secrecy site, speculates that the file may be insurance in case something happens to the WikiLeaks website or to its founder, Julian Assange. In either scenario, WikiLeaks volunteers, under a prearranged agreement with Assange, could send out a password to allow anyone who has downloaded the file to open it.
  • Ex-CIA officer Baer comments on Wikileaks files. Robert Baer, the retired CIA field officer whose bestselling memoir, See No Evil, formed the basis of the 2005 motion picture Syriana, has called the quality of intelligence revealed in the Wikileaks Afghan War files “just awful. Basically, we don’t know who the enemy is”, says Baer, adding that “much of the information looks to be the result of walk-in informers –intelligence peddlers looking for a cash payment or some other reward for passing on gossip”.
  • Wikileaks informant suspect had help, says informer. Hacker-turned government informant Adrian Lamo, who is assisting the US government investigate thousands of leaked secret war records to Wikileaks, says Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who is the suspected culprit of the leak, had civilian help.

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News you may have missed #357

  • IDF colonel with intelligence duties ‘commits suicide’. An unnamed colonel with the Israel Defense Forces was found dead in a forest in northern Israel Saturday, after allegedly taking his own life. The officer reportedly served in high-ranking positions in the Intelligence Corps.
  • Australian Wikileak founder’s passport confiscated. Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblower website Wikileaks, says he had his passport taken away from him at Melbourne Airport and was later told by customs officials that it was about to be cancelled. Wikileaksleaked footage of US forces laughing at the dead bodies of people they had just killed in Iraq in 2007. rose to prominence last month, after posting

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Essential links on WikiLeaks video of Iraq shooting

WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Whistleblower site WikiLeaks has released a leaked video taken from a US military helicopter in July 2007, showing US forces indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians, killing 12 people and wounding two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency. There are several edited versions of the video, which can be found in its entirety here. Cryptome offers a series of selected stills from the leaked WikiLeaks video, with some visual analysis of the footage. It is worth keeping in mind that the leaked video is of substantially lower quality than what the US helicopter pilots saw, because it was converted through several stages before it was released by WikiLeaks. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #320

  • Wikileaks alleges US government surveillance. British quality broadsheet The Guardian is one of a handful of mainstream media outlets to seriously examine the allegation of Wikileaks, that its editor and co-founder, Julian Assange, became the target of “half a dozen attempts at covert surveillance in Reykjavik”, by individuals who said they represented the US Department of State. The article, written by Joseph Huff-Hannon, also cites intelNews.
  • Saudi charity wins wiretap case against NSA. The Saudi-based charity Al-Haramain was taken to court in September 2004 by the US government, which accused it of maintaining terrorist links. But the charity has successfully demonstrated that the National Security Agency engaged in warrantless spying on it. However, the judge limited liability in the case to the government as an institution, rejecting the lawsuit’s effort to hold individual US government officials personally liable.
  • Kremlin accused of KGB-style honey-traps. The Kremlin has been accused of sanctioning a Soviet-style honey-trap campaign against opposition politicians and journalists using entrapment techniques based on money, drugs and women. The allegations follow the release of a string of videos on the web purporting to show an opposition politician, a political analyst and the editor of the Russian edition of Newsweek magazine in compromising situations.

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