Welcome to the WikiLeaks Tracker. Here we’ll document the latest developments regarding WikiLeaks: the intricacies of little-noticed cables, the large-scale efforts to suppress the leaks, the response of the media and the international community to the revelations and more…
Exclusive: An Inside Look at the “Hactivist” Take-Down of Visa After Wikileaks Cut Off
Web pirates are waging cyberwarfare in defense of WikiLeaks, and I had a rare glimpse into the hacktivists’ hidden world of Internet sabotage in a secret chat room as the faceless hackers orchestrated the attack that temporarily shut down www.Visa.com on Wednesday evening.
Hidden behind screen names like Power2All and Bizzaro, hacktivists involved in the Operation Payback campaign logged into a temporary and remote Internet relay chat (IRC) room to share information on the ongoing Visa attack, swap web addresses, tell jokes and give updates on the international media coverage of their cyberwar against the enemies of WikiLeaks and free information.
An anti-authoritarian organization – if you can call it organized – called Anonymous launched Operation Payback revenge attacks against Mastercard, Visa and PayPal after the companies began blocking donations to WikiLeaks in light of the recent release of thousands of US diplomatic cables.
Amid pornographic images and nasty jokes, I found a link to the Operation Payback IRC on a thread at 4Chan.org, an open source image posting site. Anonymous and its supporters sometimes post announcements and flashy anti-copyright propaganda on 4Chan.org despite complaints from regular users, who seem more interested in naked woman and bathroom humor.
Earlier this week, Anonymous activists temporarily shut down the web sites of a server that dropped the WikiLeaks domain name and a Swiss bank that froze the defense fund for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. Anonymous is not affiliated with WikiLeaks.
Read the rest of the article on Truthout here.
– Mike Ludwig, 12/09/2010, 2:10 pm, EST
Leaks Suggest Iran Is Now Winning in the Middle East
From Juan Cole at Truthdig:
Iran is winning and Israel is losing. That is the startling conclusion we reach if we consider how things have changed in the Middle East in the two years since most of the WikiLeaks State Department cables about Iran’s regional difficulties were written. Lebanon’s Sunni prime minister, once a virulent critic, quietly made his pilgrimage to the Iranian capital last week. Israeli hopes of separating Syria from Iran have been dashed. Turkey, once a strong ally of Israel, is now seeking better relations with Iran and with Lebanon’s Shiites.”
Read the article here.
– Maya Schenwar, 12/8/2010, 11:52 am, EST
WikiLeaks Founder Assange ArresteD
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange turned himself in to police in London on Tuesday and will remain in custody until December 14 unless extradited to Sweden, Sweden’s English-language newspaper The Local reports. Assange, who has been on the international radar since exposing hundreds of classified US government documents and simultaneously dodging a manhunt for alleged sex crimes against two Swedish women since August, said he would fight his extradition and the charges facing him….
Read the rest of the Truthout article here.
– Nadia Prupis, 12/7/2010, 11:52 am, EST
Cables Belie Gulf States’ Backing for Strikes on Iran
Gareth Porter and Jim Lobe report for Inter Press Service:
The notion that [Gulf State] leaders, like Israel, favour a military solution to Iran’s nuclear programme has become widely accepted by the news media in the past week…. But a careful reading of all the diplomatic cables reporting the views of Saudi and other Gulf Arab regimes on Iran shows that the Times’ account seriously distorted the content – and in the case of the Saudis, ignored the context – of the cables released by Wikileaks.
Read the rest of the article here.
– Maya Schenwar, 12/7/2010, 1:57 pm, EST
So Much for Left-Wing “Solidarity” in South America
In Oliver Stone’s recent documentary South of the Border, leftist regimes in Latin America are depicted rather idealistically. In country after country, Stone interviews the region’s leaders who criticize the United States and present a common anti-imperialist front. Yet, while it’s certainly true that politics has taken a decisive leftward shift from Venezuela to Bolivia and beyond, many differences and tensions remain. That, at any rate, is the impression I got when I read U.S. diplomatic cables released by whistleblower Wikileaks.
Previously, in a couple of online articles, I analyzed internal political fissures within the top echelons of the Brazilian political leadership. U.S. cables reveal that some members of the Lula administration harbored suspicions about Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, and, more often than not, saw eye to eye with Washington when it came to wider South American geopolitics. While these revelations are surely eye opening, it now appears as if they may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Take, for example, the case of Argentina. Publicly, the nation’s power couple, Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, has embraced Hugo Chávez and the region’s leftist “Pink Tide.” Yet in 2007, the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires noted that Néstor was engaged in a kind of diplomatic double game: on the one hand, the Argentine president sought to “stake out a position for himself close to Chávez,” while also maintaining a close working relationship with the U.S. on particular issues such as counter-terrorism. The U.S. Embassy saw Kirchner as a kind of latter-day, independent Charles de Gaulle, a politician who would maintain a “balance” in relations between Venezuela and the U.S.
Read the rest of the article on BuzzFlash…
– Nikolas Kozloff, 12/06/2010, 12:10 pm, EST