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Assange in the Grasp of U.S. Empire


By kevinzeese - Posted on 09 December 2010

Close Allies Hold Journalist While U.S. Comes Up With Charges and Plans Extradition

People Organizing and Acting to Support WikiLeaks

Julian Assange has entered the firm embrace of the U.S. Empire after publishing diplomatic cables that embarrassed the United States and many countries around the world. Great Britain and Sweden are close U.S. allies who have started a Kabuki False Justice Dance that will deliver him to the U.S. war on terror courts which will treat him like an enemy combatant who committed espionage, when in fact he is an independent journalist and what he did was done by newspapers around the world.

The diplomatic cables and Afghan and Iraq war diaries show Assange is dealing with countries that use threats and blackmail to get their way, look the other way or participate in torture, routinely violate laws and lie to their people. Assange knew that but did not run and hide. As soon as a valid arrest warrant existed his lawyers arranged his voluntary arrest. He demonstrated he wanted to face the charges rather than flee. Yet, in a seemingly pre-determined result, the magistrate held him without bond despite more then 100,000 GBP offered for bail saying the “turn yourself in Assange” was a threat to flee. How can they say such absurdities with a straight face?

But, it is likely this mock process will embarrass the justice systems of Great Britain, Sweden and the United States. The choreography will become more and more evident as Assange goes through the system. Sweden’s on-again-off-again prosecution dismissed by three different Swedish prosecutors, sometimes including rape, sometimes not, sometimes being dropped all together is already raising questions and was so flawed they had a hard time getting a legitimate arrest warrant.. It does not help that one of the woman had CIA connections and bragged about her relationship with Assange in tweets she tried to erase and held a party with him the day after, among other incidents that are inconsistent with rape. She even published a 7 step program for legal revenge against lovers. What we know of the story so far seems to be two one night stands of consensual sex gone badly but perhaps more will be unveiled in court.

Now, that Attorney General Holder has brought the little-used Espionage Act into play, the world will see the U.S. justice system on display. When I graduated law school in 1980, the United States had a justice system of which Americans could be proud. Now after decades of erosion, it is sadly, embarrassing. Assange is likely to be held in solitary, have very limited access to evidence against him and his conversations with lawyers will be recorded – American justice is not what it used to be.

The Espionage Act should be infamous. Passed in 1917 to stifle dissent against World War I, it was used against Eugene Debs, a union organizer and four-time presidential candidate, for making a speech against the war and criticizing the Espionage Act. He was sentenced to ten years and ran for president from prison. One group critical of the U.S. war effort was charged under the Espionage Act for writing against the war. One member of the group was beaten so badly by U.S. police that he died; another was sentenced to 15 years, and three others 20. Another writer, Rose Pastor Stokes, worked in opposition to World War I and was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison for saying, in a letter to the Kansas City Star, that "no government which is for the profiteers can also be for the people, and I am for the people while the government is for the profiteers."

The Espionage Act has not recently been used against journalists since its failed use in stopping the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Its use against Assange would create a conflict between freedom of the press and espionage. Perhaps because of this frailty the Department of Justice is looking at various conspiracy charges. Conspiracy is known as the “prosecutor’s darling” because it is so broad and less difficult to prove than the underlying offense. The desperation of the U.S. government to muzzle Assange shows how insecure the U.S. Empire is – they do not want their citizens or other countries to know the truth.

It is no surprise that Great Britain and Sweden are the client states of the U.S. assisting in the incarceration of Assange. Great Britain is the closest participant in U.S. wars. The WikiLeaks cables show that the new Conservative government was promising to buy even more weapons from the United States than the Labor government. While Tony Blair was seen by many as Bush’s lap dog, the Conservative Party promised to run a “pro-American regime” and the cables describe current government members as fawning over the USA. Sweden has a long-term, annual trade surplus with the United States of billions of dollars. The U.S. is currently the third largest Swedish export trade partner and U.S. companies are the most represented foreign companies in Sweden.

The Los Angles Times reported that the U.S. was considering extradition of Assange to the United States, even though he has not been charged with anything here yet. Even before extradition to Sweden, the U.S. is in talks with Sweden about extradition to the United States. Former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey indicated that the Swedish charge may just be a holding charge, a minor offense, to get Assange in custody. Assange could be extradited from either Great Britain or Sweden to the U.S.

Concerned citizens of all these countries will have to wait for a future Wikileak-esque disclosure for proof that these countries are colluding to hold Assange. But the actions are consistent with a DoD plan on how to deal with WikiLeaks. As attorney and writer Scott Horton wrote in “WikiLeaks: The National-Security State Strikes Back,” a highly classified Army Counterintelligence Center 32-page memorandum said that the threat presented by WikiLeaks can only be eliminated by striking WikiLeaks not only in cyber attacks, but against the individuals, particularly Julian Assange, who were critical to the operation of WikiLeaks.

A prosecution of Assange, if the U.S. terror war courts allow the case to come to trial, could be the John Peter Zenger case of the digital age. It will define government transparency and free speech for the initial decades of the 21st Century and therefore is of great import to all Americans and, in particular, to the media.

WikiLeaks sharpens the battle between corporate-government and the people. The United States enlisted Visa, MasterCard, Pay Pal (eBay which owns it) and Amazon to help prevent WikiLeaks from having the funds needed to fight back. Big corporations are joining with the United States to prevent the exposure of the misdeeds of U.S. foreign policy. Julian Assange said that among its next disclosures will be abuses by the big banks.

Citizens are getting organized. Hacktivists working under the name Anonymous and others are attacking financial institutions that refuse to take WikiLeak donations as well as the prosecutor’s office in Sweden and Sarah Palin through cyber attacks. The attack on WikiLeaks is going to create more on-line cyper resistance and cyper disobedience that will present new challenges for government.

Prominent academics, lawyers, writers, whistleblower activists and others are joining together under WikiLeaks is Democracy to urge that charges not be filed against Assange for releasing documents and to stop his extradition to the United States. “This is the first step in an ongoing campaign to support Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and to re-assert the concept that the U.S. government is accountable to its citizens,” said Linda Schade the initiator of the project. “We will not accept the manipulation of our legal system to criminalize a journalist; a free and independent press is non-negotiable.”

All citizens concerned about free speech and transparency of government should join the effort to defend and support WikiLeaks which is engaged in a dramatic confrontation with the American Empire. Sign up at www.WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace (www.VotersForPeace.US).

Kevin Zeese's article, above, is definitely excellent and the Espionage Act history is definitely appreciated by me, even if it does draw a tear or two and a little heart-pacing.

Most of the articles, below, are variably but still very related to what's presently happening with or to Julian Assange, while the rest are defense of Wikileaks releasing the cables.

"Assange Could Face Espionage Trial In US"
by Kim Sengupta, Independent, UK, Dec. 8, 2010

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22340

Informal discussions have already taken place between US and Swedish officials over the possibility of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being delivered into American custody, according to diplomatic sources.

(snip)

Sources stressed that no extradition request would be submitted until and unless the US government laid charges against Mr Assange, and that attempts to take him to America would only take place after legal proceedings are concluded in Sweden.

Mr Assange, 39, had voluntarily gone to a police station accompanied by solicitors after the issuing of an international warrant.

The court heard that Jemima Khan, the sister of the Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, the film director Ken Loach and journalist John Pilger were among those who had offered to stand bail to the sum of £180,000. But District Judge Howard Rule remanded him in custody on the grounds that there was a risk the WikiLeaks founder would fail to surrender. (my emphasis)

Mr Loach, who offered £20,000, explained that he did not know Mr Assange other than by reputation, but he said: "I think the work he has done has been a public service. I think we are entitled to know the dealings of those that govern us." Mr Pilger, who also offered £20,000, said he knew Mr Assange as a journalist and personal friend and had a "very high regard for him". (my emphasis)

"I am aware of the offences and I am also aware of quite a lot of the detail around the offences," said Mr Pilger. "I am here today because the charges against him in Sweden are absurd and were judged as absurd by the chief prosecutor there when she threw the whole thing out until a senior political figure intervened." Ms Khan offered a further £20,000 "or more if need be", although she said she did not know Assange. (my emphasis)

Gemma Lindfield, appearing for the Swedish authorities, successfully opposed bail being granted because there was a risk he would fail to surrender – and also for his own protection, she said. She outlined five reasons why there was a risk: his "nomadic" lifestyle, reports that he intended to seek asylum in Switzerland, access to money from donors, his network of international contacts and his Australian nationality.

Mrs Lindfield added: "Any number of people could take it upon themselves to cause him harm. This is someone for whom, simply put, there is no condition, even the most stringent, that would ensure he would surrender to the jurisdiction of this court."

Ms Lindfield told the court that Mr Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations of sexual offences. ...

(snip)

The pressure on WikiLeaks, which relies on online donations from a worldwide network of supporters to fund its work, continued after Visa and Mastercard suspended all payments to the website.

(snip)

Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesperson, said: "WikiLeaks is operational. We are continuing on the same track as laid out before. Any development with regards to Julian Assange will not change the plans we have with regards to the releases today and in the coming days." (my emphasis)

The legal proceedings

(snip)

Q How long will the proceedings last?

A Mr Assange's legal team are already preparing to challenge the extradition in the High Court in London. If they lose the case there, they can take it all the way to the Supreme Court, a process which could last many months.

The whole article is worth reading. The four so-called charges against Julian Assange evidently are a mix of bogus and not meriting being refused bail, but there's definitely more than this to the rest of the article and some of what wasn't excerpted, above, is good.

The following video is for an interview with Eric Garris, founder and managing editor of Antiwar.com, on Russia Today, and it's interesting. Among other things, he says that the number of Wikileaks mirrors has soared to over 1,000, even saying around 2,000 without stating an exact figure, if I understood correctly. And further below is an article that provides a rather funny contrast for story. It's about Amazon UK's Web site providing an e-book for the contents of the cables released by Wikileaks; rather peculiar, hypocritical, but also comical after Amazon kicked Wikileaks off of Amazon hosting.

"Cyber War: Wiki Hackers v. Govt" (6:40)
TheAlyonaShow, Dec. 6, 2010

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUz1re3s0OY

MasterCard's website was hacked and partially paralyzed by a group of online activists who call themselves Anonymous, and are looking for revenge. They're calling it, Operation: Payback, along with Mastercard, they've already targeted the Swiss bank PostFinance, and have vowed to go after Paypal as well. Antiwar.com's Eric Garris discusses this cyber war.

"Amazon Selling WikiLeaks Cables as eBook"
by Jason Ditz, Dec. 9, 2010

www.antiwar.com/blog/2010/12/09/amazon-selling-wikileaks-cables-as-ebook

Already with enough egg on its face to endanger a species of birds, Amazon.com’s WikiLeaks headaches don’t appear to be going away. Having ousted the whistleblower’s website from their web hosting service under Sen. Joe Lieberman’s orders, Amazon has now taken to publishing the same cables (linked) it was insisting just a week ago were cause for termination.

Strange but true, Amazon’s UK website, Amazon.co.uk, began selling an eBook for its Kindle eReader that includes copious excerpts of the diplomatic cables along with the author’s analysis (linked). The eBook is, according to the website, available only in the UK.

Bizarrely, Amazon had just gotten done claiming that since WikiLeaks “doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content” they had no right to publish it online (linked). Technically speaking this is not true because US government content cannot be copyrighted to begin with and automatically defaults to the public domain, but the claim seems doubly hypocritical now that they are selling a clear “derivative work” of the WikiLeaks cables on their site.

Antiwar.com launched a boycott against Amazon last week to protest its ouster of the WikiLeaks website, and removed all advertisements for the retailer from the site. Amazon has denied that Sen. Lieberman’s order to remove the site had anything to do with them removing it just hours later, but maintains it was a decision based on their own objections to WikiLeaks’ content. (linked)

I don't understand why the above is a "headache" for Wikileaks, for the Amazon e-book won't prevent the Wikileaks team from continuing their work, which we already have sufficient proof that they need to continue and, hopefully, complete. Currently, the counter says that 1,193 cables out of the total 251,187 to be released have now been released. There's a long way to go before full release.

And if Washington doesn't order Amazon to remove this e-book from being available, then nothing can be held against Wikileaks for releasing the cables; I believe. If that's right in the legal sense, then Amazon making this e-book available should help remove a headache, instead of adding to headaches.

"Criminalizing Whistleblowers: Wikileaks and America's SHIELD Legislation
Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act (SHIELD)"

by Rady Ananda, FoodFreedom.wordpress.com, Dec. 8, 2010

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22326

On Dec. 2nd, Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Scott Brown (R-MA) introduced a bill entitled the Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act (SHIELD), effectively criminalizing whistleblowers. Yet over 1,200 websites (linked) now mirror WikiLeaks in what is clearly public support of such disclosures.

The next day, the Library of Congress confirmed that it blocked Wikileaks (linked) from its database, bluntly denying access by the Congressional Research Service. Not only is the public being prevented from viewing whatever Wikileaks has to say, but so are government researchers who advise Congress.

Writing for the Federation of American Scientists (linked), Steven Aftergood said, “if CRS is ‘Congress’s brain,’ then the new access restrictions could mean a partial lobotomy.”

Most of the suspicion over WikiLeaks results from how mainstream media used the latest data dump. But is it fair to hold the whistleblower accountable for how corporate media uses his information? ...

Upon reflection, the website, Signs of the Times, contends that we should defend Wikileaks and its flawed founder on the principle of defending the exposure of truth, no matter the source. In The Baby and the Bathwater – WikiLeaks and the Principle of Truth (linked), SOTT warns that whether we like it or not:

“Assange is the spokesperson for an idea whose time has come, but the leaked material he is representing is not worth dying for. In short, Assange and the propaganda within the leaks are the bathwater, the public right to expose government corruption is the baby.”

(snip)

Another Guardian piece (linked) in defense of WikiLeaks reminds us that:

“Disclosure is messy and tests moral and legal boundaries. It is often irresponsible and usually embarrassing. But it is all that is left when regulation does nothing, politicians are cowed, lawyers fall silent and audit is polluted. Accountability can only default to disclosure.”

(snip)

In a recent interview (linked), investigative journalist and filmmaker John Pilger noted, “Secrecy in government has become a plague…. They read our emails, why shouldn’t we read theirs?”

(snip)

Fake Rape Charges

Another way these authoritarians seek to silence Wikileaks is the phony rape charge. Assange surrendered to London authorities yesterday. For the record, Assange has broken no laws in his home nation of Australia or in the U.S., notes Adelaide Now (linked). Kirk Murphy at Fire Dog Lake (linked) clarifies how Julian’s honey-trap is a CIA asset.

(snip)

Crimes Documented by Wikileaks

(snip)

Congressman Ron Paul also defends WikiLeaks (linked): “In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.”

In defending the quality of information released, one commenter (linked) harshly confronts the notion that the latest release is irrelevant, listing several actionable crimes confirmed by the release:

“The only people who say ‘they revealed nothing new that wasn’t already known or well suspected’ are the stupid dipshits who are commenting on the cables without reading them. Also, even the stuff that WAS well known now has official confirmation - meaning that it can now be used in court against those responsible.

The commenter's phrasing is exaggerated; calling people who have said that they have not seen anything yet about any cables revealing any important information that was not already known and reported, before, "stupid dipshits" is definitely not a recommendable approach for anyone to take. And that commenter would do well to carefully read the essay by Andrew Gavin Marshall that I'll provide a link for later in this post.

But, the important thing the "commenter" said or wrote and which I've repeated several times in posts here, already, is that there certainly are, already, some cables that've been released through Wikileaks, thanks to [conscientious] whistleblowers, leakers who provided the leaks to Wikileaks, that would be usable for prosecutions; if we had a real system of real justice. If we don't have the "official confirmation", i.e., evidence, then our denunciations are readily treated as mere "conspiracy theory" or "pure speculation", so getting the diplomatic cables that provide actual evidence is needed information. The problem is that we don't have a real system of real justice.

The article continued:

“Cables from the Saudi embassy indicate that the Saudis are attempting to gain access to government backchannels so they can make use of the US’s military in order to handle Iran.

That's the commenter's interpretation and while it's understandable that many people also have the same interpretation, it is definitely lacking, very short of being complete. There's no analysis to it at all and there [needs] to be.

The Saudi monarchy is in power [because] of the US and it is for the same reason that the monarchy continues to be in power. We know what happened with Saddam Hussein when he ceased being a puppet of the US; or I certainly hope that we all know what happened and why it happened, anyway. And the monarchies of other Arab countries in the Middle East are [because] of England and like with the Saudi monarchy, all of these monarchies extremely or else totally depend upon the US and UK. Otherwise, the populations of these countries would probably OUT these monarchies; definitely in Saudi Arabia anyway. I don't know how bad the others are, but most people know that the monarchy in Saudi Arabia is [hell] for most of the Saudi population.

It's like the many anti-Zionist "activists" trying to defend the non-existent righteousness of the government of the US by claiming that Israel and its lobby control this government. It's [BS] (double emphasis)! Israel and the lobby [are] dependent on the US.

All of these monarchies and Israel really serve as proxies for the western imperialist powers. And of course the latter need the cooperation from these monarchies and Israel, so the west's imperialists strategically need to let their proxies have their psychopathic and sociopathic "fun". And the west's imperialists have no significant history of caring about human rights, anyway.

I'll include a link to a [thorough] essay by Andrew Gavin Marshall at the end of this post, since I posted the link here yesterday.

The above article from Food Freedom continued:

“The Chinese Poliburo (instead of petty hackers) directed the intrusion into Google’s gmail systems, something which all gmail users needed to know. As a gmail user, I was under attack by a foreign power and my government didn’t tell me.

That's another example of believing that what's literally written is absolutely true; as if analysis is not called for with any and everything imperialist powers and their "worker bees" say. Do we have actual proof that what "commenter" says, above, is true? I certainly don't know that we do.

Like Andrew Marshall excellently explains in his article, and I've posted basically the same argument at Youtube before reading his article yesterday, just because the diplomatic cables are authentic does [not] mean that they are necessarily accurate. The people who wrote the cables can sometimes be less than truthful. Some of these cables, which are evidently all authentic as Andrew Marshall says or explains, and which only means truly from US embassies or diplomatic offices, some of them can bear imperialistic propaganda of lies and misinterprations made by the diplomats. Andrew Marshall justly argues that American diplomats are salaried employees of the imperialist rulers of the government of the USA and like many other government-employed people, many diplomats are going to work to protect their salaries, perks, and so on; they'll work to please their masters, personal "prestige", bank accounts, and so on.

One very well known example of imperialist diplomats is John Negroponte's notorious and truly evil history in Latin America. He has surely lied [many] times; very criminal lies.

Unless the related cable is truly proven to be accurate, the Gmail attacks could have originated in China and the US and its western imperialist allies, as well as Israel, would all be singing like diabolical or mischievous choir about the Chinese Poliburo being responsible without the Politburo really being responsible. We should have realized by now that the imperialist leaders of the West and many or most of their employees [regularly] LIE.

The US and NATO continue to militarily build up in their very threatening way towards Russia and China, and the US and NATO governments have a history of FALSE FLAG attacks. A diplomatic cable saying that the Chinese Politburo was responsible for the gmail attack could be another false flag.

The Food Freedom article continues, but I won't excerpt any more from it.

"Murder Poster for Assange"
by James Bovard, Dec. 7th, 2010

www.antiwar.com/blog/2010/12/07/murder-poster-for-assange

This poster accompanied an article (linked) by Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner calling for the killing of Assange. (Kuhner is a talk show host from Canada).

Have other folks seem similar artwork out there?

It is amazing how dark American politics has become.

I believe that it's illegal to verbally threaten someone even if the person making the threat commits no related physical act of violence. And inciting murder, which includes assassination, is most surely illegal; if incitement to riot is illegal, then inciting murder definitely should be, also, anyway. The poster of which an image is shown in the article should certainly be illegal and a prosecutable act. And the Washington Times writer is clearly not meaning to use the poster as part of a joke piece to mock government officials and others who have called for Julian Assange to be assassinated.

The article that James Bovard linked to is the following and clearly is not using the poster in a joking way. I'll only excerpt the first paragraph of the article.

"KUHNER: Assassinate Assange?
Web provocateur undermines war on terror, threatens American lives"

by Jeffrey T. Kuhner, Dec. 2, 2010

Julian Assange poses a clear and present danger to American national security. The WikiLeaks founder is more than a reckless provocateur. He is aiding and abetting terrorists in their war against America. The administration must take care of the problem - effectively and permanently.

That, imo, is incitement, encouragement for murdering Julian Assange, and Khuner is full of balony in claiming that Wikileaks is endangering national security. Plenty of qualified people who've seen the released cables have said that there's nothing that's been released of these cables that endangers either national security or persons. I read an article last week that said that even US Sec. of Def. Robert Gates has said that the released cables aren't endangering anything.

The following article might be valid reporting, but it causes a question to come to mind and it's, "Why would such a cable be classified as only secret, instead of top secret?".

"WikiLeaks cable exposes NATO war plan against Russia"
by Bill Van Auken, Dec. 9th, 2010

www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/nato-d09.shtml

Andrew Gavin Marshall's article:

"Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War
Power, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening
"

by Andrew Gavin Marshall, Dec. 6, 2010

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22278

It's a long essay, but strongly qualitative for defense of what Wikileaks is doing. He addresses this from what I believe is [all] possible angles.

This is a real "hitter" for diplomatic cable. It should be a strong example to refer to when wanting to explain, illustratively, that there certainly are cables of serious importance included in the release by Wikileaks. This is surely not a cable that is favorable for either Israel or the US. It's favorable for Hezbollah and all Lebanese people opposed to the extreme criminality of Israel, as well as for those opposed to having a treasonous political leadership in Lebanon.

That's imo, anyway.

"Lebanese Newspaper Site Downed for Covering WikiLeaks
Paper Printed Cables Embarrassing to Lebanese Officials
"

by Jason Ditz, Dec, 9, 2010

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/12/09/lebanese-newspaper-site-downed-for-co...

A private Arabic-language newspaper in Lebanon, al-Akhbar, has been knocked down by a series of coordinated hacking attacks against their internal information systems (linked), in apparent retaliation for the paper’s heavy coverage of the WikiLeaks cables.

Earlier in the week the site found itself banned in Tunisia (linked) for reprinting a cable detailing corruption in the Tunisian President’s family. But the bigger news seems to have been its coverage of Lebanon itself.

The paper reprinted cables detailing Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr giving the US advice on how Israel could win a future invasion of Lebanon. Murr also promised that the Lebanese military would not be involved in resisting such an invasion. (linked)

Murr had angrily claimed the comments in the cable were “out of context,” but the claims ring true, as Lebanon’s military stayed on base during the last Israeli invasion. As Israel killed some 1,200 civilians in the last invasion in 2006, the seeming encouragement from Murr to launch another attack (and at a time when Israeli officials insist another invasion is “inevitable”) was likely to anger many. It is exactly the sort of truth for which the WikiLeaks cables were released, and also exactly the sort of truth for which censorship seems to be enjoying a renaissance the world over.

How is that cable about what Elias Murr treasonously said going to endanger national security or any person; except for Murr, politically? He committed high treason against the population of all of Lebanon! That definitely should be exposed.

The above article by Jason Ditz links to the following piece.

"Al-Akhbar Under Cyber Attack", Dec. 9, 2010

naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/0/A70D3CD3A49AE8DBC22577F4003EFA77?OpenDocument

Al-Akhbar newspaper has been hit by a cyber attack since publishing cables from whistleblower WikiLeaks.

"We have been the victim of a cyber attack targeting the paper's internal information system for the past few days," a member of al-Akhbar's editorial team, Elie Chalhoub, said.

Al-Akhbar's cooperation with WikiLeaks "may well be the principal reason for the attack," he said.

According to a series of cables obtained by WikiLeaks and published by al-Akhbar on its website, STL prosecutor Daniel Bellemare last year complained to then U.S. ambassador Michele Sison that Syria, initially accused of Hariri's murder, was treating his investigators as "school kids in short pants."(AFP-Naharnet)

Jason Ditz also linked to the following piece.

"Lebanese paper's website attacked over WikiLeaks"
by Bassem Mroue, AP, Dec. 9, 2010

thestate.com/2010/12/09/1598505/lebanese-papers-website-attacked.html

BEIRUT — A Lebanese newspaper's website has been shut down following a hacker attack, apparently over its publishing of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, an editor with the daily said Thursday.

Omar Nashabe said he doesn't want to speculate who is behind what he called the most serious attack on the Al-Akhbar newspaper since it was established in 2006.

The privately owned Al-Akhbar is close to Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group and its allies. WikiLeaks gave the paper an advance copy of secret U.S. diplomatic documents, and Al-Akhbar has been publishing the cables since last week.

(snip)

Could it be Israeli hackers, or hackers working for Israel? Israel certainly has such capabilities.

I read the naharnet.com piece, first, and the last paragraph of the article reminded me of what the following piece says about Israeli operations in Lebanon when former Lebanese PM Rafiq al-Hariri was assassinated. The STL is the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and it evidently was set up in respect to that assassination.

"The Hariri Assassination: All Eyes on Lebanon"
by Rannie Amiri, Dec. 2, 2010

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22233

I'll excerpt from the following copy.

intifada-palestine.com/2010/12/all-eyes-on-lebanon/comment-page-1

(snip)

Indeed, the STL has neglected to consider several key developments: the exposure of Israeli espionage rings operating in Lebanon resulting in the arrest of more than 100 people on charges of collaborating with the Mossad; the captured agents’ confessions detailing the collusion, including one who said his Israeli handlers instructed him to delude the late prime minister into thinking Hezbollah was out to kill him (Hariri) and so allow the agent to alter the route Hariri’s motorcade would take that fateful February day; Hezbollah’s assertion that its telecommunications network had been infiltrated (linked) by Israel, compromising all its communications and causing bogus text messages to be sent.

Earlier this year, four spies were apprehended at Alfa, one of Lebanon’s mobile service providers. One admitted to installing computer programs and planting electronic chips in Alfa transmitters on Israel’s behalf.

This is important because the STL is expected to rely heavily on phone records and other telecommunication data in drawing its conclusions. Evidently neither Hezbollah’s latest disclosure nor Israeli agents known to have operated in the critical telecom sector merits further investigation.

(snip)

The following interview is an additional link I'm providing because, firstly, of what Lebanese PM Sheikh Saad al-Hariri (Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri), son of Rafiq Hariri, says about the STL, assassination, and the related false witnesses who were discovered and who've admitted to having lied. However, the interview is also interesting to listen to for what he says about, both, Israel being [responsible] for no progress being made for peace in the Middle East, and relations with Syria and Iran; including that he or the Lebanese government support Iran's right to its nuclear energy program.

"Al-Hariri: Israel not fit for peace" (9:11)
RussiaToday, Nov. 15, 2010

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzNjtxyZDFA

He supports the STL, which, again, I believe to be the international tribunal that's been set up and which he says Russia supports; and this worries me, because these tribunals can [not] be trusted when we consider how they've been very corrupt, so far. The UNSC is dominated by the imperialist permanent member states, the US being the very worst of them, and the same has been and will remain true of the ICC and Hague. It is [essential] that the tribunal act as Rannie Amiri's article explains. Otherwise, it will be another corrupt process.

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