Although not widely known, Jamaicans have been involved in some of the worst or potentially devastating acts of terrorism of the last decade.A recently-uncovered Wikileaks cable from a U.S. diplomat in Jamaica • Suggesting that Jamaicans are a serious terror threat … a claim that the diplomat makes by linking three separate notable terror incidents in the past decade to people of Jamaican descent: Shoe bomber Richard Reid (his parents were Jamaican), D.C. sniper co-conspirator Lee Boyd Malvo and 2005 London bomber Germaine Lindsay. As Talking Points Memo points out, the ties are weak at best, making this 2010 diplomatic cable a bit of a bizarre footnote in the annals of Wikileaks — one with plenty of bizarre footnotes already. source (via • follow)
And he said: ‘These people were collaborators, informants. They deserve to die.’ And a silence fell around the table.ProducerMatthew just reminded us of this quote, regarding the redaction of the names of informants, from Frontline’s coverage of Wikileaks from a while back. Seems more relevant than usual today.
» Remaining defiant amid criticism: WikiLeaks did not take kindly to the New York Times portrayal of this story, by the way. “Sorry, NYT,” the organization wrote on its Twitter feed just as we were typing this all in, “It doesn’t matter how many sleazy hack jobs like Ravi Somaiya you hire, we’ve out published your Pentagon tabloid already.” Somaiya co-wrote wrote a fairly unflattering profile of Assange that ran with the diplomatic cables they published.
» Obama’s not-very-harsh words: It’s clear that Obama’s comments on Egypt, made during a YouTube town-hall style thingy, try to tow that public/private line noted above. “I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform – political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt,” Obama said. “And you can see these pent-up frustrations that are being displayed on the streets.” Dear Obama administration: There’s a point where a chummy relationship doesn’t work anymore.
» What’s the point? Not allowing people to read The New York Times and The Guardian seems a little extreme, and the effect is futile, anyway. Why’s that? Well, see, all they have to do to read the cables is GO HOME AND FIRE UP THEIR LAPTOP. Wow, that’s some effective security there, guys. By the way, the Army, Navy and Marines aren’t doing this, and the Department of Defense is formally distancing itself from the Air Force on this issue.
At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drive. Now how do we present that? It’s a difficult problem. … To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.Wikileaks’ Julian Assange • Explaining how they leak material to the press, but dropping the fact that they have a bunch of stuff from Bank of America ready to leak. This was completely ignored by the press (and even we didn’t make much of it when we posted about it a few months back). But then our boy Julian talked to Forbes, people put two and two together, and all of a sudden Bank of America’s stock went down today. The difference? Assange wasn’t seen as a threat when he made this interview a year ago. Now … he’s a threat. source (via • follow)
She’s become the issue. She’ll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States. Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton’s scalp.Slate’s Jack Shafer • Arguing that the Wikileaks report on the diplomatic cables may be enough to do her in as Secretary of State. Why? Because, according to Wikileaks documents, she ordered her diplomats to spy on the people they were talking to. Even if she did nothing illegal, it’s going to be tough for other countries to trust someone they think is spying on them. If it does kill her career as Secretary of State, though, we don’t think it kills her political career. She’s too good to go away that quickly. source (via • follow)
Tonight promises to be Wikileaks’ largest data dump ever. U.S. diplomats have been publicly deriding the organization for days and saying that the release of thousands of diplomatic cables could lead to deaths. Meanwhile, they’re the target of a DDOS attack. More than the Iraq and Afghan War documents, this could prove to be one of the greatest gifts Wikileaks has offered up (besides the weirdly Hollywood story of Julian Assange, who Bill Maher was born to play). Or not. What do you think will come of tonight’s leak?
I would hope that those who are responsible for this would, at some point in time, think about the responsibility that they have for lives that they’re exposing and the potential that’s there and stop leaking this information.Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen • Saying WITH EMPHASIS that if Wikileaks releases the diplomatic cables it has, it could endanger lives. Other government officials, including ambassadors, are complaining loudly too. The question, of course, is whether these cables, which are expected to be released today, will be nearly as damaging as they suggest. It’s pretty likely they will be – some of the stuff revealed in the Iraq and Afghan War leaks was a bit retready. This could be new ground. Or not. source (via • follow)
WikiLeaks are an absolutely awful impediment to my business, which is to be able to have discussions in confidence with people. I do not understand the motivation for releasing these documents. They will not help; they will simply hurt our ability to do our work here.U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey • Loudly voicing his frustration with Wikileaks, which plans to release thousands of diplomatic cables in the next few days. Let’s just say that the U.S. is gearing up for the worst-case scenario, which involves them having to explain to its allies why it’s privately talking crap about them and revealing things that were told to them in confidence. source (via • follow)