Julian Assange Released From Jail

Update: The appeals court decided in favor of Julian Assange and he will be released on bail.

Update: Julian Assange's statement upon being released from jail.

The Guardian is live-blogging the appeal hearing of Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange. [More...]

Assange has arrived at court. The court will open in ten minutes. The application is being heard by Mr Justice Ouseley.

The Guardian reporters are also live-tweeting at the court.

Here's a list of the reporters who are tweeting live.

< Bradley Manning's Inhumane Detention | Thursday Night Open Thread >
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    Judge freed him on bail (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:29:04 AM EST

    Ya know (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:32:42 AM EST
    if he did what he is accused of fine.  But who has ever been accused of that and then jailed in this fashion unable to post bond?  First time he's ever been charged with anything like this?  There's some serious railroading going on right now!

    The Swiss (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:53:23 AM EST
    Appealed the bail, and there had to be another hearing (the one held today) within 48 hours by Britain's high court.  I don't know about British law, but looking over the Bail Act of 1976, it appears that holding him for another 48 hours is allowed. At least, this line from the Bail Act leads me to believe this is not completely out of the realm.

    On an application for reconsideration of a bail decision, the court may impose or vary bail conditions or withhold bail altogether (s5B Bail Act 1976, as inserted by the CJPOA 1994).

    I could be wrong - any British law epxerts out there?


    Seweds - not Swiss (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:56:18 AM EST
    And to kdog's statement about the Brits not the Swedes appealing -

    I'm not sure if the Swedes had standing to appeal bail.  Doesn't seem like anything funny there.  It would be the same kind of thing same if a Georgia prosecutor wanted to appeal bail set for a defendant in a New York courtroom.  It would have to be the NY prosecutor who appealed.


    I wish I understood more about (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:08:11 AM EST
    British law so that I could know if he was being railroaded with more certainty.

    In any case two incredibly incriminating cables have been released while he is behind bars.  I'm thinking that the man behind the curtain wants him released so they can track him and follow him, try to get a grasp of the network and try to get this stuff shut down.  Some people out there must be losing their minds.


    He (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:25:29 AM EST
    Actually might be safer in jail.  Do you honestly think he's going to be able to freely walk around wherever he goes?  This man has a price on his head from many nations.

    Wikileaks is bigger than he is though (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:33:36 AM EST
    now.  He is just the founder.  When you need information, capture is preferred....often mandated :)  No small fry tater nation is going to off him while the industrialized West needs to figure out how to shut this stuff down :)

    Holy Cripes it's getting wild out there (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:48:04 AM EST
    too with the State Department cables.  The State Department knew that BP was literally a time bomb looking for a place to happen and it also knew that the banks were insolvent and beginning to plan how to get the governments of the industrialized nations to bail them out at least six months in advance of the "crisis".  This stuff is incriminating as hell to our current leadership.  No wonder they want Assange's head on a plate.  But you can jail him and Wikileaks runs on its own.  Wonder if they can buy him?  Plant a mole?  This is going to get wild as hell.

    Why would anyone (none / 0) (#11)
    by SOS on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:08:30 AM EST
    be surprised by this?  Other then those who haven't been paying attention to "detail" the past 10 years.

    The Saudi Royalty "Sex Parties" cables is still one of the most best ones yet to "emerge".


    I haven't read any of the cables yet (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:16:04 AM EST
    Just reading news stories about them.  I'm beginning to think it would be okay if I did on my computer from the house again.  The whole world is reading them afterall :)

    Maybe not on this blog (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:14:49 AM EST
    where people like to size up facts and do a good job of talking about them without flaming the discussions into oblivion.  But you understand that for the most part, everyone else up to this point was pretty sure we were the ones who were nuts :)?

    That's what I don't get (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:31:57 AM EST
    I have yet to see anything that surprised me.

    Nowww (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:34:15 AM EST
    If someone could free Bradley Manning or at least get him out of solitary confinement.....


    Oh (none / 0) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:35:27 AM EST
    And he hasn't even been convicted of a crime.  

    Doesn't have to be (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:39:26 AM EST
    He's a military intelligence soldier who admittedly committed acts that he knew were classified as treason.  He is screwed!

    Why would you free him? (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:40:05 AM EST
    Even in our ciivl justice system, people stay in jail before trial or conviction.  The military has no bail system.  What would you have them do with someone accused of transferring clasified material?

    If we can't open the cage... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:11:15 AM EST
    we could at least treat him humanely...you saw Jeralyn's post on how he is being treated...if that is not punishment before conviction I don't know what is.

    I saw Jeralyn's post (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:34:11 AM EST
    of how Glenn Greenwald says he's being treated.

    Big difference.

    If he's being abused, that is shameful and it needs to stop.

    Manning himself says he's "very annoyed" at the torturous behavior - I don't know about you, but if I was being tortured, I wouldn't say I was "very annoyed".

    I hope when he goes to trial any stuff comes out - but let's see if this is true or just defense strategy to gain sympathy for him, since he really doesn't stand a chance.


    I've described myself as "very annoyed" (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:58:11 AM EST
    When I was, in fact, infuriated.  Just FYI.

    But if it is happening now, then by the time it goes to trial his mental state is likely to be beyond repair.  

    Of course it is likely partly a defense strategy.  What difference does that possibly make?  

    Did you read Greenwald's post?  If so, did you read the Update where the substance of his post is confirmed?  If so, you would know there is NOT a big difference between Jeralyn's post and how he is being treated.

    Going by the words of one Lt. Villiard.


    Could be that.. (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:38:22 AM EST
    as a military man he is used to being abused and misused...his "very annoyed" could mean something very different to us as civilians.

    I would have them hold them... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:59:48 AM EST
    ...under conditions that are reasonable. The conditions under which Manning is being held are not reasonable.

    Bradly Manning is not some hacker mastermind, or a spy, or anything other than a low level guy who had access to systems which were poorly thought out (if maintaining secrets was the goal) and insecure. That's all he is. Holding him for 23 hours a day in solitary does nothing to increase the security of the United States. It's unnecessary and frankly, the conditions under which he is being held can't reasonably be seen as anything other than punitive.


    Well, most civilians would want us to (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:46:42 AM EST
    eventually forgive him....remember that for the most part he is still a kid.  They would want him to have the possibility of some kind of life again at some point.  He didn't really leak anything that big.  All of his reports were from enlisted and low level officers.  It isn't as if he leaked the evidence of the leaderships conversations about the use of white phosphorous to "light up" Fallujah vs. melting the people that remained in Fallujah.  

    But the military is its own beast, and it forgives nothing like this ever because an example is being made and it will resemble granite.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:52:45 AM EST
    Butif he truly gave up classified secrets - would most people want to forgive him?  He's been in trouble before with the military - including losing a rank for assaulting another soldier.  He doesn't make himself out to be a very symapthetic figure.

    I will (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:56:20 AM EST
    I will grant you that possibility.  Maybe he shouldn't be freed.  And I will say, that I qualified my original statement by saying that they should at least free him of solitary confinement.

    Torturing him, regardless of what he's done, is not justified.


    My understanding of military prisons (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:01:02 AM EST
    is that it is all about torture.  You have shamed your country and yourself, you are the most worthless scum on the globe and you are told that and shown that and try to survive that every single hour of every single day.  And you try to live among a very large group of usually well trained to kill sociopaths.

    Ah MT (none / 0) (#37)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:28:03 AM EST
    My understanding of military prisons (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:01:02 AM EST

    is that it is all about torture

    If this is true, and coming from you, I give it credence, then it is the military that is shaming our country and ourselves.

    Your comment makes me almost unutterably sad when I think of the many, many fine women and men (not to mention boys and girls) who make up the body of the military.


    Tracy has never been in the military. (none / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:39:52 PM EST
    She's only been married to someone (none / 0) (#80)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:52:21 AM EST
    in the military for a few decades or so.

    That doesn't maker an expert on (none / 0) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:57:19 AM EST
    the military...

    It does give her a view of the military wife.


    So, since you weren't a military wife (none / 0) (#92)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:16:26 AM EST
    that wouldn't make you an expert like Tracy :-)

    As you know (none / 0) (#94)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:35:43 PM EST
    I spent 10 years in Naval Aviation.

    So I do think I am more familiar with the workings of the military than Tracy is.

    She has a better view of what a military wife sees than I.

    So I don't disagree with all her comments, on many we do agree. From time to time we do  not.

    It's called reasonable people disagreeing. It is also known as not having to comment on everything someone else writes.


    Again, you were only in the (none / 0) (#95)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:34:36 PM EST
    military for 10 years, while Tracy has been married to a military man for decades.

    Therefore, while your initial claim about military knowledge may or may not be correct, she has a better claim to being an expert on being a military wife than you do, Q.E.D.

    It is also known as not having to comment on everything someone else writes.

    Would you feel better if I promised never to respond to anything you post here again?


    The military won't forgive him ever (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:58:23 AM EST
    He's doomed and he is completely under their control.  But a lot of really good people much loved by the world were poorly preforming soldiers.  The very best soldiers are very dysfunctional people by psychological standards  :)

    So I will never take any joy from the fact that who he is as a person will be utterly destroyed long before they are finished with him.  I have heard that Leavenworth will make you forget how to even be a human being.


    To add (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:09:55 AM EST
    There's a lot in his background that the military will comb through  - makes you wonder why he was put in an intelligence position in the first place.

    No kidding (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:23:27 AM EST
    He gave away low level stuff though IMO, he probably didn't have a very high security clearance.  I don't know how he maintained his position though except that perhaps being shorthanded played a part and the fact that once you are over there they will attempt to keep you there because every set of hands is needed.  Nobody probably ever fancied that he'd do what he did.

    Sometimes they accuse soldiers of doing things too trying to avoid a deployment by creating "issues" that have to be resolved.  I've known of commanders who brushed off people committing certain offenses as them trying to stay stateside and then it seems like they immediately shift into this "well you are going no matter what" gear.


    Actually (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:34:29 AM EST
    He confessed to giving away this kind of stuff:

    Manning was turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online. In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video of a helicopter attack that Wikileaks posted online in April. The video showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter air strike in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.

    He said he also leaked three other items to Wikileaks: a separate video showing the notorious 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan that Wikileaks has previously acknowledged is in its possession; a classified Army document evaluating Wikileaks as a security threat, which the site posted in March; and a previously unreported breach consisting of 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing "almost criminal political back dealings."

    His favorite stuff, allegedly, was the diplomatic stuff:

    That seemed to be the least interesting information to Manning, however. What seemed to excite him most in his chats was his supposed leaking of the embassy cables. He anticipated returning to the states after his early discharge, and watching from the sidelines as his action bared the secret history of U.S. diplomacy around the world.

    "Everywhere there's a U.S. post, there's a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed," Manning wrote. "It's open diplomacy. World-wide anarchy in CSV format. It's Climategate with a global scope, and breathtaking depth. It's beautiful, and horrifying."

    And as for his security clearance:

    Manning told Lamo that he enlisted in the Army in 2007 and held a Top Secret/SCI clearance, details confirmed by his friends and family members.


    Manning had access to two classified networks from two separate secured laptops: SIPRNET, the Secret-level network used by the Department of Defense and the State Department, and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System which serves both agencies at the Top Secret/SCI level.

    They love geeky people in intelligence though (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:31:01 AM EST
    I could see where he would fit in.  I can't help feeling sorry for the guy though.  He would have to have a very high I.Q. too.  They don't want you for analyst work unless you are mostly all brain.

    So the cables are from him (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:34:14 AM EST
    I wonder why he didn't get any high up military documentation?  He got the motherlode on the State Department.

    State Department stuff. I can tell you for sure that a PFC on any network would only have access to need to know stuff. Either there is some really stupid network administrator somewhere (very possible), or he had help on that stuff from another source.

    This info has been reported (none / 0) (#53)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 02:52:36 PM EST
    Believe it or not, all the info Manning had access to up to and including the diplomatic cables was available to upwards of 3 million people. Your claim that "I can tell you for sure that a PFC on any network would only have access to need to know stuff" was not correct at the time when Manning copied the data. (The system has since been changed to restrict access.)

    Thanks for the info. 3 million people, wow! Was that 3 million Army people or was it other government people also? I should clarify my comment  "I can tell you for sure that a PFC on any network would only have access to need to know stuff", that's how it would normally be set up. Obviously the reality of it was different.

    I think that being in Iraq played a role (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 04:44:09 PM EST
    and he probably had access to stuff that he would not have had stateside.

    That's probably true (none / 0) (#85)
    by republicratitarian on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:22:54 AM EST
    I know when I was over there the majority of people with clearances had access to the SIPRNET. Stateside it's a whole different game, I wouldn't even know where a SIPRNET computer is here. That was what I was talking about also about the computer administrators. There are tons of them that are the same rank as that PFC. Imagine some 20 year old Private having that kind of responsibility.

    I know where the SIPRNET is on Fort Rucker (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:28:05 AM EST
    and I only know that because I know someone who works there.  The security measures around the whole area and the people that work there are nothing short of intense as hell.  It makes me sort of nervous to even be around it sometimes, and I'm rarely ever, but the rare is enough for me :)

    Where do you get the 3million? (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 03:40:32 PM EST
    I would believe there are 3 million with that level of clearance, but that does not mean you have a SIPRNET account or access to the right servers.

    The news is out there (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 03:54:04 PM EST
    Scientific American: WikiLeaks Breach Highlights Insider Security Threat
    After the September 11 attacks, SIPRNet was expanded to help U.S. agencies share classified information more easily, with virtually all embassies and consulates on the system. A 1993 GAO report estimated more than 3 million U.S. military and civilian personnel had the clearance to access SIPRNet, although it remains unclear as to how many people now actually have roles that allow them to do so. The hope was to spur communication of the kind of vital clues that might have prevented that catastrophe. These links, ironically, probably helped WikiLeaks's informant get access to confidential diplomatic messages.

    The Guardian UK: US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis

    The US embassy cables are marked "Sipdis" - secret internet protocol distribution. They were compiled as part of a programme under which selected dispatches, considered moderately secret but suitable for sharing with other agencies, would be automatically loaded on to secure embassy websites, and linked with the military's Siprnet internet system.

    They are classified at various levels up to "secret noforn" [no foreigners]. More than 11,000 are marked secret, while around 9,000 of the cables are marked noforn.

    More than 3 million US government personnel and soldiers, many extremely junior, are cleared to have potential access to this material, even though the cables contain the identities of foreign informants, often sensitive contacts in dictatorial regimes. Some are marked "protect" or "strictly protect".

    I'm often amazed at how wrong people's assumptions are and/or how many gaps there are in their information on the news. It's hard to keep up. Fortunately, I am blessed (or cursed) with a very good memory. Stuff sticks. Sometimes I don't remember where I found it and I have to dig, but this bit of news was reported in numerous places even if I wouldn't call it "widely reported."


    Actually, (none / 0) (#58)
    by dissenter on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 03:44:59 PM EST
    They do.

    OK, if you say so (none / 0) (#59)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 03:47:15 PM EST
    As someone who has had to search a base for the one guy with the SIPRNET account to send my data, I'm not so sure.  

    No kidding huh? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:31:08 AM EST
    My friend that works there, I didn't know they worked there for the first three years that I knew them.  Not that it mattered where they worked, that wasn't why they were my friend.  I was surprised though to eventually know a little tiny bit about their job and that is exactly what I know too.....a thimble's worth!  The topic is never open for discussion...NEVER

    There are different levels of (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 04:43:13 PM EST
    SIPRNET too.  It isn't a partition free system.  This I do know for a fact :)  But that is about all I know about SIPRNET.  I don't have such an account, nor would I likely ever be trusted with one :)

    That's right. There are. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:55:20 PM EST
    And that partition is why Bradley Manning did not have access to anything with the highest levels of security. Nothing that has been leaked was classified top secret or higher.

    I know this is kinda (none / 0) (#98)
    by efm on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    an old post, but I'm bored today and was reading back.  But SIPRNET isn't really that big of a deal in the intel world.  Its basically a secret internet, used mainly for emailing classified information.  Whatever place that you saw that had sipr on that base must have had something else as well.  On the base I was in Sipr is in most battalion HQ buildings and up, I'd say most S2 offices have it, its locked up in some way. But doesn't really have to be guarded, other than by alarm.
      I wouldn't say there are mutliple levels of sipr just difference access rights that people have, the same as in any company, only people with payroll information has access to payroll data, just like they don't have access to R&D data, but its most likely all on the same network.
     But like anywhere, people are careless, and if he got the data in Iraq that makes even more since, since security goes out the window if it impedes completing a mission.
     Anyway, just trying to clear up things about SIPR.

    Sad (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:23:42 PM EST
    Looks like he wanted attention and acceptance from his new group of friends....

    Maybe (none / 0) (#35)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:21:45 AM EST
    Butif he truly gave up classified secrets -

    But if he didn't?  You seem awfully ready to convict him.

    I don't care how sympathetic/unsympathetic a figure he is.  Right now his treatment makes this nation an "unsympathetic figure".


    I'm just taking him (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:35:49 AM EST
    at his word - unless of course, you want to say his word means nothing.  That's an argument, I guess, but it wasn't done under interrogation, so that's what we have to go on.

    He will have an Article 32 hearing, and then, most likely, a court martial proceeding.

    Let's see what comes out then.


    You're right (none / 0) (#43)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:47:09 AM EST
    He did, according to all reports, give up classified secrets.  In my own head I translated that to mean material that puts others at risk.  You didn't say that, it was my interpretation.

    But I stand by this.

    I don't care how sympathetic/unsympathetic a figure he is.  Right now his treatment makes this nation an "unsympathetic figure".

    And I can't believe you linked to that gossip column of an article above.  In fact I would like to believe that the NYTimes is above publishing it.  Sadly, and obviously, we know that isn't true.


    Maybe so (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 05:27:35 PM EST
    But he is not going to re-offend....because he will be given access to no more classified info.

    He is harmless now.

    I believe that imprisonment should focus primarily on protecting society from future harm.


    In these wretched wars of Aggression (4.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:52:13 AM EST
    And with everything else coming out via these leaks, Bradley Manning is a good guy, I will bank on it.  Our glorious leaders, clearly, are the bad guys/gals here, and they can all drop dead: From Obama and Hillary on down, every one of the useless and supposed Dems who go along with this totalitarian garbage that they KNOW is destroying this nation far more than one leaker.  Phuck them all, get them in the ground soon, I need graves to piss on.

    Not a good day here.

    Because we really need to know (2.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:56:33 AM EST
    That Khaddafi has a blond mistress or a diplomat thinks an ambassador's wife is fat?

    The abuses perpetrated in our name - yes, we should know about.  But this other stuff is just gossip and actually hurts diplomacy.  For any bleeding heart liberal who values diplomacy over things like war - leaks of this kind are not good news.


    Please don't try to speak for all ... (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:21:53 AM EST
    ... bleeding heart liberals.

    Keeping these cables quiet was neither advancing diplomacy nor preventing war.  Some of us bleeding heart liberals see that.  And some of us bleeding heart liberals see that, in general, transparency is better than secrecy.

    And you do have a way of finding the dross and then painting all the information with that brush.  So don't use that brush when/if responding to my "in general" comment above.


    Ok (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:37:38 AM EST
    So you care if Khaddafi has a mistress.

    I don't.  This kind of stuff has nothing to do with anything, but is fit for a gossip rag.  If you think that helps diplomacy, so be it - I disagree.  This kind of stuff has nothing to do with diplomacy, but is instead the kind of thing that makes 7th grade girls all atwitter.


    Which raises the question... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:42:01 AM EST
    why is the state department behaving like they work for Page Six?  Why do they care Khadafi has a blonde bombshell nurse?

    When the cables first broke, I was taken aback by how closely international diplomacy resembles a junior high school cafeteria...and appreciated the insight into why the world is perpetually at odds with itself...everybody is talking trash behind the other's back.  


    Because (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 05:16:01 PM EST
    Why do they care Khadafi has a blonde bombshell nurse?

    Because that can effect his relationships with others and that can affect his decisions about other things.

    If someone's wife is sleeping with Joe and if someone kills Joe, then we have an immediate suspect. If we know Joe was sleeping the wife.

    Intelligence is the art of taking a hodgepodge of apparently unrelated information and developing a picture of what is happening or will happen.

    Anything that removes the bits and pieces hurts the whole. And hurts our ability to have a clear view of the world.


    Bullpucky (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:45:29 PM EST
    I remember news stories after the return of the American hostages from Iran how before the overthrow of the Shah intelligence predicting this outcome couldn't even be given away.

    I remember how the question of WMD in Iraq was termed a 'slam dunk'.

    I remember how a certain American President, when warned of a possible terrorist attack on American soil, dismissed the briefer with "You've covered your a**.


    Actually you need to remember (none / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:42:13 PM EST
    the 7/5/01 meeting.

    Actually I do, perhaps you (none / 0) (#82)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:12:37 AM EST
    need to remember the details of the event in question.

    From the Wikipedia, not for use for academic research or very small children:

    At a July 5, 2001 White House gathering of the FAA, the Coast Guard, the FBI, Secret Service and INS, Clarke stated that "Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon." Donald Kerrick, a three-star general who was a deputy National Security Advisor in the late Clinton administration and stayed on into the Bush administration, wrote Hadley a classified two-page memo stating that the NSA needed to "pay attention to Al-Qaida and counterterrorism" and that the U.S. would be "struck again." As a result of writing that memo, he was not invited to any more meetings.


    Many of the events Clarke recounted during the hearings were also published in his memoir. Among his highly critical statements regarding the Bush Administration, Clarke charged that before and during the 9/11 crisis, many in the administration were distracted from efforts against Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization by a pre-occupation with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Clarke had written that on September 12, 2001, President Bush pulled him and a couple of aides aside and "testily" asked him to try to find evidence that Saddam was connected to the terrorist attacks. In response he wrote a report stating there was no evidence of Iraqi involvement and got it signed by all relevant agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA. The paper was quickly returned by a deputy with a note saying "Please update and resubmit".[11] After initially denying that such a meeting between the President and Clarke took place, the White House later reversed its denial when others present backed Clarke's version of the events.[12][13]

    Click Me

    Want more details?  From www.historycommons(dot)org:

    Donald Kerrick. [Source: White House]Clinton and Bush staff overlap for several months while new Bush appointees are appointed and confirmed. Clinton holdovers seem more concerned about al-Qaeda than the new Bush staffers. For instance, according to a colleague, Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Adviser, had become "totally preoccupied" with fears of a domestic terror attack. [Newsweek, 5/27/2002] Brian Sheridan, Clinton's outgoing Deputy Defense Secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, is astonished when his offers during the transition to bring the new military leadership up to speed on terrorism are brushed aside. "I offered to brief anyone, any time on any topic. Never took it up." [Los Angeles Times, 3/30/2004] Army Lieutenant General Donald Kerrick, Deputy National Security Adviser and manager of Clinton's NSC (National Security Council) staff, still remains at the NSC nearly four months after Bush takes office. He later notes that while Clinton's advisers met "nearly weekly" on terrorism by the end of his term, he does not detect the same kind of focus with the new Bush advisers: "That's not being derogatory. It's just a fact. I didn't detect any activity but what [Clinton holdover Richard] Clarke and the CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] were doing." [Washington Post, 1/20/2002] Kerrick submits a memo to the new people at the NSC, warning, "We are going to be struck again." He says, "They never responded. It was not high on their priority list. I was never invited to one meeting. They never asked me to do anything. They were not focusing. They didn't see terrorism as the big megaissue that the Clinton administration saw it as." Kerrick adds, "They were gambling nothing would happen." [Los Angeles Times, 3/30/2004] Bush's first Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Henry Shelton, later says terrorism was relegated "to the back burner" until 9/11.

    Click Me


    Who should I believe, you, or those liars Richard Clarke and Henry Shelton?


    All the agencies were warned (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:00:50 AM EST
    at the meeting. FBI, FAA, Coast Guard... So Bush knew. The PDB was a recital of what everyone knew.

    If I had been Bush I would have fired whoever was responsible for wasting my time with old information.


    CYA for Bush (none / 0) (#91)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:15:26 AM EST
    but not his underlings?



    Looks like all his "underlings" (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:27:11 PM EST
    were briefed.

    "At the special meeting on July 5 were the FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration. We told them that we thought a spectacular al Qaeda terrorist attack was coming in the near future." That had been had been George Tenet's language. "We asked that they take special measures to increase security and surveillance. Thus, the White House did ensure that domestic law enforcement including the FAA knew that the CSG believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming, and it could be in the U.S., and did ask that special measures be taken."


    The PDB claim is risible.


    You can catch my reply (none / 0) (#96)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:41:56 PM EST
    on the next open thread.

    You couldn't help yourself could you? (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 12:00:36 PM EST
    You HAD to bring up the dross.

    And gossip rag?  Like that NYTimes article you linked to?


    Waste of money (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by waldenpond on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 01:07:07 PM EST
    It is of interest to me if this lame @ss govt is wasting my money sponsoring people who are nothing more than gossip columnists and then wasting more money trying to keep their back stabbing gossip 'secret'.

    It's just another level of corruption... creating jobs for someone's offspring with no real skills to perpetuate the war machine that is making billionaires richer.


    It isn't the content of the gossipy (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 01:38:53 PM EST
    cables that matters as much as what they reveal about the culture and atmosphere within the State Department, and I think it's probably designed to lower our opinion of the people who work there.  When the content of the more substantive cables are considered, it's now hard to do so without thinking that these are the same people whose trash talk and gossip show how little respect they have for the leaders and diplomatic corps of other countries.

    It makes what they were doing seem worse - if that's possible - than if all that had been released were the "important" materials.  

    In much the same way that you have used the gossipy article about Bradley Manning to influence how others look at what he has admitted to doing.

    Just as Bradley Manning is made to seem more unstable and unreliable - and that is not to say he doesn't have his problems - so do the Page Six-style cables lower our opinion of our diplomatic corps and cast their more substantive actions is a much more negative light.

    The problem is that it still doesn't change what the cables reveal about what kinds of things our State Department was engaging in - in our name - and we have only seen the tip of that iceberg.


    I agree somewhat (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 05:35:57 PM EST
    I can't figure out what he was trying to accomplish....

    The leaks were just all over the map about everything.....The idea is apparently to embarrasss the U.S. just for the sake of embarrassing us.

    No grand conspiracy was uncovered....just more details of what was generally already publicly known or assumed....but those details will burn the contacts of our diplomatic people.

    Anarchy it does promote....

    So, I would agree our diplomatic efforts at the State Department have taken a hit--and, so I could see how that could (theoretically) harm peace and leave us only the neocon answer to everything.  And for no really coherent reason....

    Secrets are not always inherently bad.  Lawyers keep the secrets of their clients.  As do doctors.  Diplomacy requires that the State Department be discreet.  


    Gotta disagree (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:58:50 PM EST
    The idea wasn't embarrassment for the sake of embarrassment. The idea was to show the people that what their government tells them it's doing and what it is actually doing are often not the same thing. The idea was to help inform the citizenry. Because if the citizenry isn't actually informed, then the citizenry doesn't actually know what it is they are supporting, and does not have a chance to withdraw that support if what is happening is the opposite of what they believe theyr are supporting.

    I suppose that is the overarching principle (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 07:13:05 PM EST
    in theory.....I'm having trouble seeing how that played out in practice here....

    It hasn't finished... (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:09:03 PM EST
    ...playing out. Maybe you should reserve judgment. And regardless of how it plays out, the principle stands as a good one. Secrecy for secrecy's sake is not a recipe for good government. Open the curtains and let some sunshine in.

    To Dadler: My rating of 2 (none / 0) (#70)
    by christinep on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:31:17 PM EST
    is because your comment expressed concern on the one hand about the ravages of political decisions made, then--at two points--wished for death on those involved. Not only is that a bit much; frankly, you expose yourself as no different than what you condemn.  Or, is it hyperbole?

    Oh....missed that reference (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 07:23:33 PM EST
    Hillary too?  

    She may be a little hawkish for my tastes, but I am glad she is Secretary of State....

    She has been very good to the people of Guatemala.  Nothing in it for her.  The people of Guatemala don't rate at all.  But she was instrumental in having all kinds of State Department records offically released (including those on the 1954 CIA coup)--when Bill was President; she validated Sr. Dianna Ortiz when she was conducting her vigil outside the Whitehouse to  bring attention to her account of being tortured in a facility controlled by an American; and she just disclosed the program to give STDs to Guatemalans in the early 1950s.  There is no political upside for Hillary in any of this.  Guatemalans don't vote and don't contribute money.  Those here who know of them are a tiny, tiny group.....

    Hillary has demonstrated good humanitarian instincts....

    Leaking this gossip seems pointless.  Making Hillary's job harder is not good.


    Update... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:45:34 AM EST
    the judge shut down the live reporting from the courtroom.  Link

    And I wasn't aware the appeal was the Brits doing, not the Swedes...this railroading has so many twists and turns, gets shadier by the minute.

    Wikileaks released a State Department (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:50:10 AM EST
    cable that it was a big British bank President that it seems kicked off the planning on how to get the industrialized governments to pay for the global insolvency.  People in Britain have a tendency to riot.  I bet the British government is $hitting itself today.

    Who know what else Wikileaks has on them? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:50:33 AM EST
    I hope he has multiple... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:00:27 AM EST
    trump cards up his sleeve...he will need them.

    The most dangerous person to the world power structure since Emma Goldman perhaps?  since Marx?


    It's bizarre (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:13:16 AM EST
    I can sit here all day and tell myself that the government had to know that BP was being insane based on their track record and inspections, and I can sit here all day and tell myself that the bailout was no crisis....just engineering and the government has to be complicit.  But it is more comforting to be a "conspiracy theorist" as I'm often accused of than having to deal with the fact that I love deductive reasoning, it was all pretty obvious, and guess what?  The conspiracies were and are really happening :)

    This is a very significant issue. I hope, though (none / 0) (#47)
    by rennies on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 12:38:55 PM EST
    that Jeralyn or BTD will open a thread on the rumor reported in Politico this morning that Obama will propose Social Security cuts in the upcoming State of the Union speech.

    "The tax deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is just the first part of a multistage drama that is likely to further divide and weaken Democrats.

    The second part, now being teed up by the White House and key Senate Democrats, is a scheme for the president to embrace much of the Bowles-Simpson plan -- including cuts in Social Security. This is to be unveiled, according to well-placed sources, in the president's State of the Union address."

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46430.html#ixzz18IiLqNb0

    That was by Robert Kuttner (none / 0) (#55)
    by Romberry on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 03:17:19 PM EST
    Kuttner is the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, also co-founded the Economic Policy Institute and authored "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency" which was published in August of 2008 with the assumption that Obama would in fact be elected president.

    The reason I point all of this out is that I know there is a tendency on the part of some to dismiss anything that comes from The Politico. Where Kuttner is concerned, I think that would be a mistake.


    Unrelated but (none / 0) (#48)
    by Makarov on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 12:45:10 PM EST
    the House has temporarily set aside plans to vote on the Tax Bill the Senate passed yesterday. It's pretty apparent there aren't enough votes for it to pass on a procedural basis at least, if not pass in general.

    My impression of how this will go is much like the bailout votes in Sep-Oct 2008:

    1. Most House Republicans will vote against it, regardless of how their colleagues in the Senate acted

    2. If the Progressive Caucus stands united against its passage, it probably can't and won't pass.

    3. Obama and Dem leadership will beat on progressives until they cave, probably early next week.

    I'm holding out hope for the House to at least pass something different than the Senate, requiring it to ping pong back. I sincerely doubt the Senate can get a quorum between Christmas and New Year, so they'd probably need to get a House version no later than Wednesday or Thursday.

    More than anything else, I'm disturbed about the damage that could be done to Social Security by temporarily reducing the payroll tax.

    please put this on an open thread (none / 0) (#68)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:23:29 PM EST
    and leave this thread to the topic. Thanks.

    That (none / 0) (#56)
    by sj on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 03:22:23 PM EST
    was worth a lot more than two cents

    Most of the stuff in the military leaks (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 04:46:41 PM EST
    outside of specific names that went with specific incidents was known on a certain level publicly if you wanted to know certain truths.  But you can't say that about the State Department stuff :)

    USA Job Plan (none / 0) (#65)
    by dissenter on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 05:18:33 PM EST
    There is almost nothing in these leaks I haven't heard before in variety of countries and settings.  Also, DoS (including USAID) and DoD are very tightly integrated these days and millions work for DoS one year and DoD the next. Same goes for journalists. One day they are on the news and the next day they are running communications at the embassy. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of Americans. The military industrial complex is now our manufacturing base.

    The whole clearance system has become nothing but a money making racket. It has nothing to do with security any longer (at the secret level anyway) and you don't need access to SIPR to know what is going on. This is our big national myth. You will find out more about what is going on in Afghanistan by visiting a few bars in Kabul on a Thursday night than sitting in a CIA listening post or the American Embassy. People forget the contractors, the military (for dinner of course:), State, USAID, etc go to them and the locals go there too. This is true all over the world. Go check out Georgetown at happy hour on a Friday night.

    I don't know how Ruffian couldn't find a SIPR line. That is more surprising to me than 90% of the leaks lol


    Please........my spouse (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:19:06 AM EST
    works military intel right now.  All is not as you wish to portray it.

    Not to be too jerky (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:20:52 AM EST
    But as to overall knowledge and credibility of applied knowledge, weren't you were also the one who pronounced the war over when the Afghans said they were tossing the contractors out?  That is not going to be a major issue, perhaps a minor one.

    You are Jerky (none / 0) (#97)
    by dissenter on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:42:42 PM EST
    With all due respect, as a previous person pointed out earlier you have exactly zero experience working for the military, working in a war zone, holding a security clearance or experience with the State Dept. I actually have done all of these things. I do not recall saying the war is over TODAY. You don't turn an aircraft carrier around on a dime. It is starting to shut down. It is all moving to Africa. Follow the money.

    The aid associated with this war will in fact end if there are no western security contractors guarding personnel. In fact, a number of firms have already started on contingency plans to withdraw from their contracts because it is getting to the point they can't be insured. Try reading the newspaper. Karzai has started shutting them down. He is also going after the biggest Afghan firms...those would be the ones that keep the supply lines going.

    Contrary to your very limited military view, there is a big world outside of what you know about the military and the State Dept and what goes into prosecuting the war.

    And yes I do take offense. I have actually risked my life for the last 6 years in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe that gives me a bit of credibility on the subject. I would love to say more sister, but unlike you, I am ACTUALLY bound by rules. My opinion, based on experience however is not one of them.


    dumbing down torture (none / 0) (#77)
    by diogenes on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:28:43 PM EST
    Since when is solitary for 23 hours "torture"?

    Try being locked up a few days (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:53:10 AM EST
    under the same conditions, then get back to us, doc.

    In modern times? Since about 1929... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by sj on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:28:58 AM EST
    ... when the third Geneva Convention was ratified.