“Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers.”
“A man in chains knows he should have acted sooner for his ability to influence the actions of the state is near its end.”
“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”
You Shouldn’t Know That: 10 Wikeleaks insights from 2010
Secret Order to Ignore Prisoner abuse and Toture Frago 242. A frago is a “fragmentary order” which summarises a complex requirement. This one, issued in June 2004, about a year after the invasion of Iraq, orders coalition troops not to investigate any breach of the laws of armed conflict, such as the abuse of detainees, unless it directly involves members of the coalition. And the outcome of the “Frago 242: “Another of the leaked Iraqi war logs records the case of a man who was arrested by police on suspicion of preparing a suicide bomb. In the station, an officer shot him in the leg and then, the log continues, this detainee “suffered abuse which amounted to cracked ribs, multiple lacerations and welts and bruises from being whipped with a large rod and hose across his back”. This was all recorded and judged to amount to “reasonable suspicion of abuse”. The outcome: “No further investigation.””
Leaked Pentagon files obtained by the Guardian contain details of more than 100,000 people killed in Iraq following the US-led invasion, including more than 15,000 deaths that were previously unrecorded.
British ministers have repeatedly refused to concede the existence of any official statistics on Iraqi deaths. US General Tommy Franks claimed in 2002: “We don’t do body counts.”
In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A “confidential” April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution. A Spanish human rights group called the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had requested that Spain’s National Court indict six former Bush officials for, as the cable describes it, “creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture.”. The six were former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon’s former general counsel; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel.
In 2003, El-Masri was kidnapped from Macedonia and transported to a secret CIA-run prison in Afghanistan where he was held for several months and tortured before being dumped on a hillside in Albania. The Bush administration pressured Germany not to prosecute CIA officers responsible for the kidnapping, extraordinary rendition and torture of German national Khaled El-Masri, according to a document made public Sunday night by Wikileaks. The document, a 2007 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, describes a meeting during which the then-deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Germany, John M. Koenig, urged German officials to “weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.” of issuing international arrest warrants in the El-Masri case.
The International Committee of the Red Cross sent evidence to US diplomats about widespread torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir, according to cables obtained by Wikileaks.
Visits to detention centres in the region in 2002-04 revealed cases of beatings, electric shocks, sexual abuse and other types of ill-treatment.
Calling it a case of “collateral murder,” the WikiLeaks Web site today released harrowing video of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter in Baghdad in 2007 repeatedly opening fire on a group of men that included a Reuters photographer and his driver — and then on a van that stopped to rescue one of the wounded men.
None of the members of the group were taking hostile action, contrary to the Pentagon’s initial cover story; they were milling about on a street corner. One man was evidently carrying a gun, though that was and is hardly an uncommon occurrence in Baghdad.
Reporters working for WikiLeaks determined that the driver of the van was a good Samaritan on his way to take his small children to a tutoring session. He was killed and his two children were badly injured.
The shooting, which killed Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, took place on July 12, 2007, in a southeastern neighborhood of Baghdad.
US embassy cables reveal elite American troops secretly embedded with Pakistan military to hunt down militants
The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.
Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy “offended many in the Vatican” who felt that the Irish government had “failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations”, a cable says.
Wikileads releases a letter written by U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens after the 2009 military ouster of former President Manuel Zelaya, acknowledging that there had been a coup. The letter deemed the military coup “clearly illegal” and said the Honduran Congress had “no constitutional authority to remove a Honduran president.”
The leak shed light on the true opinion of the U.S. Embassy during the coup.
“Regardless of the merits of Zelaya’s alleged constitutional violations, it is clear from even a cursory reading that his removal by military means was illegal,” Llorens’ letter said. “Even the most zealous of coup defenders have been unable to make convincing arguments to bridge the intellectual gulf between ‘Zelaya broke the law’ to ‘therefore, he was packed off to Costa Rica by the military without a trial’”.
The WikiLeaks document dump includes a message sent to Washington from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reporting the existence of a “Chinese contact” who knew about knowledge of government involvement.
The electronic intrusion was “part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government,”
Glenn Greenwald notes this today about one aspect of the Brain Manning case (he supposedly released the documents to Wikileaks) and I will quote him extensively (but read the post): “Journalism in the United States has become at least as much about preserving secrets as it is uncovering them. Reporters routinely grant anonymity to government officials to spout all sorts of falsehoods — from the gossipy to the consequential — while shielding those officials from accountability. … That’s what so much “journalism” now is: a means of shielding secrets from the public — usually to protect friends and the agendas of “sources” to ensure further access. Ironically, it is that very mentality — the Cult of Secrecy that American journalism has become — that gave rise to the need for WikiLeaks in the first place. We’re a society in which media and political elites keep secrets compulsively with one another — doing that is one of the hallmarks of membership in those circles — and there are thus plenty of people trained to believe that Good, Responsible People keep substantive secrets from the public. It’s the same mentality that has spawned the hostile reaction to WikiLeaks: people are happy — grateful even — when institutions keep substantive information from them.”