Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

We Tweak Russia Over Pussy Riot, Russia Tweaks Us Over Julian Assange

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 18, 2012

Tit-for-tat, anyone?

This will never make it into the establishment US media’s radar screens, but even as we tweak Russia over Pussy Riot, Russia is tweaking our ally, Britain (and by extension, us) about Assange:

AFP- Russia on Friday warned Britain against violating fundamental diplomatic principles after London suggested it could arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside Ecuador’s embassy.

“What is happening gives grounds to contemplate the observance of the spirit and the letter of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and in particular the Article 22 spelling out the inviolability of diplomatic premises,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

And, in what in addition to a chastisement for harboring Boris Berezovsky and other fugitives from Putin’s dubious justice was probably also a shot at the UK for harboring Augusto Pinochet, he who ordered the raping of women via trained dogs, the Russians added this:

At the same time, Moscow warned Britain against interpreting the law selectively, stressing that London has given refuge to “dozens of people suspected of committing grave crimes” who are wanted in other countries.

“What to do with a right to refuge for Julian Assange when London turns the observance of this right for this category of people into an absolute principle?” the Russian foreign ministry asked, referring to a number of high-profile figures granted asylum in Britain.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

US Media Character Assassination: This Time It’s Against Ecuador

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 22, 2012

Want to be tarred as History’s Greatest Monster by the US Establishment Press? Defend Julian Assange from extradition to the US.

Kevin Gosztola has the details:

The coverage from media in the US, UK and Australia has been nothing but dismissive or outright sneering. Rather than admitting Assange is within his legal right to seek and apply for asylum from any country like Ecuador, media have focused on tangential issues. They’ve reported supporters that donated money to Assange’s bail fund could lose the money—£240,000 ($370,000)—because he violated his terms of bail when he failed to report to his “registered bail address near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, after 10pm on Monday.” They’ve suggested Ecuador is “anti-press” and so it is quite ironic that Assange would want asylum from the country’s government. They’ve said Ecuador President Rafael Correa and Julian Assange to deserve each other because they are “anti-American.” And they’ve rehashed a smear that he is doing this for attention and to create drama, which the public has heard in some variation since WikiLeaks began to publish the major caches of documents like the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and the US State Embassy cables in 2010.

And yes, Fred Hiatt’s Washington Post leads the pack.

Why the US is determined to torch relations with the last non-right-wing non-dictatorship/narcostate in Latin America that will even speak to it — especially as the US is already in trouble with the Ecuadorians for being suspected of trying to do to them what was done to Honduras — is beyond my comprehension. Unless having its crimes revealed for all to see is apparently worth alienating yet another of America’s rapidly-shrinking circle of friends.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

WikiLeaks Still Alive, Publishing Stratfor E-Mails

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 27, 2012

Remember how, when Daniel Domscheit-Berg left the WikiLeaks group a little over a year ago, it was allegedly permanently crippled and unable to do any more work once Dumbshit — erm, Domscheit-Berg — defected and took WikiLeaks’ coding platform and data archive with him? (Being that, according to him, he was the real coder in the group and nobody left in WikiLeaks was much more than a script kiddie.)

Remember how DDB was going to set up an “ethical whistleblower” organization called “OpenLeaks”, except that a year later it’s not much than a website and Domscheit-Berg’s hot air? In fact, as was pointed out in August of 2011 by Der Spiegel’s Marcel Rosenbach, Domscheit-Berg actually said in the German weekly Der Freitag “I took no documents from WikiLeaks with me”, which is not what he’d told German hacker club spokesman Andy Müller-Maguhn at the time: “He told me last Thursday evening that he had to look at each document before handing them over. It doesn’t match up.”

With all this in mind, it’s not surprising to see that WikiLeaks is alive and functioning and still getting document submissions, like these recent ones:

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would begin publishing more than five million emails on Monday from a US-based global security think tank, apparently obtained by hackers.

In its latest high-profile disclosure, WikiLeaks said in a statement it had acquired access to a vast haul of internal and external correspondence of Strategic Forecasting Inc (Stratfor), based in Austin Texas.


WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange told Reuters: “Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists.”

“What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organisations fighting for a just cause.”

And since it’s now Monday, the e-mail releases have started:

LONDON—Today, Monday 27 February, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example :

“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.

The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.

The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients. For example, Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the “Yes Men”, for the US chemical giant Dow Chemical. The activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. The disaster led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.

Go over to WikiLeaks and see for yourself.
Charles butts in: Kevin Gosztola at FDL is on it. Some interesting points: corporate monitoring of Bhopal victims (Dow) and PETA (Coca Cola). Also, according to the correspondent for L’Expresso, Stratfor had sources inside the anti-Osama operation, which goes to show how dangerous to national security loose cannons like Stratfor can be. And the Spanish correspondent (, I think) points out that the government is also paying Stratfor to spy on it. Oh, and Stratfor is investing money based on the intelligence it collects!

Joanne Leon at DK has a series of links, including this link from Beirut’s Al-Akhbar newspaper describing Stratfor’s founders and machers.

MSNBC denies the claim that Stratfor’s boss, George Friedman, has resigned.

Posted in Wikileaks | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 2, 2011

Keith Olbermann’s back and he’s got a blog! Go get ’em, KO!

— The latest attack on WikiLeaks: Unsupported accusations of anti-semitism leveled at Julian Assange. Yup, if they can’t try him in the courts or (as Paul Craig Roberts discussed) assassinate him, they’ll work to make him a pariah by slapping the anti-semite tag on him.

— Speaking of slapping folks with undeserved anti-semite tags, Pete Seeger just got one for his joining the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign intended to persuade Israel to turn away from the path of racism and eliminationism. He shares this distinction with Dov Yermiya, a former IDF officer and whistleblower who is heartsick over what people like Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman have done.

— With the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War’s start this year, Sarah Anderson (via Sally Jo Sorensen’s Bluestem Prairie) reminds us that the safety net which Koch Bircher Tea Party Republicans are so intent on slashing is what kept America together in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, Abraham Lincoln | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Speaking Of Incitement To Murder

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 11, 2011

As long as we’re talking about the right wing’s increasingly violent rhetoric, and how it’s seeped into every corner of American life (and even into Democratic campaign ads like Joe Minchin’s), one might want to look at this:

“WikiLeaks: treat incitement seriously or expect more Gabrielle Giffords killing sprees.”

Wikileaks today offered sympathy and condolences to the victims of the Tucson shooting together with best wishes for the recovery of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords, a democrat from Arizona’s 8th district, was the target of a shooting spree at a Jan 8 political event in which six others were killed.

Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, leading the investigation into the Gifford shooting, said that “vitriolic rhetoric” intended to “inflame the public on a daily basis … has [an] impact on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with.” Dupnik also observed that officials and media personalities engaging in violent rhetoric “have to consider that they have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future.”

WikiLeaks staff and contributors have also been the target of unprecedented violent rhetoric by US prominent media personalities, including Sarah Palin, who urged the US administration to “Hunt down the WikiLeaks chief like the Taliban”. Prominent US politician Mike Huckabee called for the execution of WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange on his Fox News program last November, and Fox News commentator Bob Beckel, referring to Assange, publicly called for people to “illegally shoot the son of a bitch.” US radio personality Rush Limbaugh has called for pressure to “Give [Fox News President Roger] Ailes the order and [then] there is no Assange, I’ll guarantee you, and there will be no fingerprints on it.”, while the Washington Times columnist Jeffery T. Kuhner titled his column “Assassinate Assange” captioned with a picture Julian Assange overlayed with a gun site, blood spatters, and “WANTED DEAD or ALIVE” with the alive crossed out.

John Hawkins of has stated “If Julian Assange is shot in the head tomorrow or if his car is blown up when he turns the key, what message do you think that would send about releasing sensitive American data?”

Christian Whiton in a Fox News opinion piece called for violence against WikiLeaks publishers and editors, saying the US should “designate WikiLeaks and its officers as enemy combatants, paving the way for non-judicial actions against them.”

WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange said: “No organisation anywhere in the world is a more devoted advocate of free speech than Wikileaks but when senior politicians and attention seeking media commentators call for specific individuals or groups of people to be killed they should be charged with incitement — to murder. Those who call for an act of murder deserve as significant share of the guilt as those raising a gun to pull the trigger.”

“WikiLeaks has many young staff, volunteers and supporters in the same geographic vicinity as these the broadcast or circulation of these incitements to kill. We have also seen mentally unstable people travel from the US and other counties to other locations. Consequently we have to engage in extreme security measures.”

“We call on US authorities and others to protect the rule of law by aggressively prosecuting these and similar incitements to kill. A civil nation of laws can not have prominent members of society constantly calling for the murder and assassination of other individuals or groups.”

More examples:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Glenn Greenwald, Evan Hansen, And Slut-Shaming

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 29, 2010

I suppose it’s a sign of a sort of twisted progress that men’s sexual activity is (as least when politically helpful to the powers that be) questioned the way women’s sexual activity is and has always been questioned. Still, I would rather that nobody be slut-shamed in this day and age, particularly as a way from distracting from the issues at hand:

Assange was asked in a BBC interview questions such as “how many women have you slept with?”  When Assange refused to answer, many WikiLeaks critics pointed to this as hypocrisy — oh, see, he doesn’t believe in transparency for himself — and my tweet pointed out the obvious fallacy of that claim:  there is nothing inconsistent about demanding transparency for governments while insisting upon personal privacy.

Moreover, the question Assange refused to answer — “how many women have you slept with?” — is relevant to absolutely nothing of public interest, including the rape accusation.  By stark contrast, the information Wired is concealing — whether Lamo is telling the truth about his various claims — goes to the heart of one of the most significant political controversies in the world.

If this had been about a Julia Assange who was just some random person and was accused of raping two of her lovers, you can bet there’d be a huge (and justly so!) hue and cry about how this was unfair to imply that the number of sexual encounters a person had somehow any bearing on their guilt or innocence of a particular crime. But since this is about a man who various people, including several prominent US politicians, want dead because he and his group released information that pulled back the curtain on how the powerful people operate (and more importantly showed them to be utter hypocrites), only someone like Glenn Greenwald notices, much less complains.

By the way: The rest of Greenwald’s piece is well worth reading, particularly in his utter demolishment of Evan Hansen and Kevin Poulsen, and Poulsen’s efforts to mischaracterize his connection with Adrian Lamo.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Glenn Greenwald, Evan Hansen, And Slut-Shaming

Assange, Gorbachev, Lebedev: Making Teeth Grind Worldwide

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 22, 2010

When Julian Assange doubles down, he really doubles down:

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta will team up with WikiLeaks to expose corruption in Russian government, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

This is Mikhail Gorbachev’s and Alexander Lebedev’s paper. You know, the paper run by two gents the Western politicians and their media worship because one of them destroyed the USSR and the other is a thorn in Putin’s side?

Heh heh heh heh. Be fun to see how fast the US media does a 180 on these blokes because they’re now buds with Public Enemy Number One, Julian Assange.

EDIT: Here’s an example of the sort of laudatory story mentioning Gorby and Lebby that’s about to become very rare in the Western press.

EDIT 2: Oh, this passage from the original Bloomberg piece is even better:

President Dmitry Medvedev said the documents published by WikiLeaks don’t hurt Russia’s interests and that the Russian authorities don’t care what’s being discussed in diplomatic circles.

“When people communicate, they sometimes use very harsh language and if such a leak had happened from our Foreign Ministry or secrete services, many of our partners, including Americans, would have got an emotional charge after reading ‘kind words’ about themselves,” Medvedev said during a meeting with students in Mumbai today.

Nice zing at the paranoid hypocritical Americans, Mr. Medvedev. The Russians must be overjoyed at the chance to show themselves as the guardians of relative transparency compared to the bellicose and enraged Yankees. Managing to make Vladimir Putin look restrained and noble in comparison is not exactly an achievement to be proud of, Joe Lieberman. Or Joe Biden.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Assange, Gorbachev, Lebedev: Making Teeth Grind Worldwide

Why Going After WikiLeaks Is Wrong

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 19, 2010

The US Government’s vicious attacks against WikiLeaks and its allies (an attack that includes the psychological undermining of PFC Bradley Manning, treatment that won’t get him to provide true and accurate information but will eventually destroy him mentally) only reinforces for observers the deep and searing hypocrisy of the US preaching on freedom, democracy and transparency to people it doesn’t like (such as the Iranian government) while allowing the hostile coup takeovers of countries like Honduras by people who are against democracy, freedom and transparency, and show that by their eagerness to kill thousands upon thousands of their own people.

It was already laughable, in light of what was already known about America’s foreign policy, for Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman to blather about how important it was for Iran, a nation they hate and want to destroy, to respect internet and other freedoms. Now that the US’ true attitudes towards freedom, democracy and transparency have been revealed for all to see, the wildly intemperate scorpionlike reaction of Clinton, Lieberman, Biden and most every other prominent American politician or government official just reinforces what we all knew.

Posted in torture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sweden, Rape, And Accusees Not Named Julian Assange

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 17, 2010

Oh, Michael Moore is so evil! Why, just look at what an evil person he is, to even mention the following:

** Sweden has the HIGHEST per capita number of reported rapes in Europe.

** This number of rapes has quadrupled in the last 20 years.

** The conviction rates? They have steadily DECREASED.  

Axelsson says: “On April 23rd of this year, Carina Hägg and Nalin Pekgul (respectively MP and chairwoman of Social Democratic Women in Sweden) wrote in the Göteborgs [newspaper] that ‘up to 90% of all reported rapes [in Sweden] never get to court.'”

Let me say that again: nine out of ten times, when women report they have been raped, you never even bother to start legal proceedings. No wonder that, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, it is now statistically more likely that someone in Sweden will be sexually assaulted than that they will be robbed.

Message to rapists? Sweden loves you!

Which is why it strikes Mr. Moore as so strange — just as it struck Evil Naomi Wolf as so strange — that a country so unbelievably lax and lackadaisical at handling rape would suddenly decide to go after Julian Assange with such (for them) unusual persistence. As Wolf states:

Indeed, the Swedish authorities — who are now being depicted as global feminist sex-crime-avenger superheroes in blue capes — were shamed by a 2008 Amnesty International report, “Case Closed“, as being far more dismissive of rape, and far more insulting to rape victims who can be portrayed as ‘asking for it’ by drinking or any kind of sexual ambiguity — than any other country in their comparison group. As Amnesty International put it in a blistering attack: “Swedish Rapists Get Impunity.”


“Helena Sutourius, an expert in legal proceedings in sexual offense cases, concludes that, in Sweden, ‘the focus appears to be on the woman’s behaviour, rather than on the act that is the object of the investigation.'” Swedish prosecutors and police don’t even keep proper track of their own rape issue and how their own police handle or mishandle cases. Amnesty accused Sweden of little scrutiny of or research into the quality of its own rape crime investigations, “a serious shortcoming that needs to be addressed immediately.”

Finally, remember that in the Assange case it is the State rather than the women themselves that is bringing the charges. The Swedish state — which has proven, in politically neutral cases that merely involve actual assaults against women — such a shameful custodian of raped victims’ well-being.

And then, conclude: shame on Sweden; shame on Interpol; shame on Britain. And lasting shame, given this farcical hijacking of a sex crime law that is scarcely ever enforced in Sweden in far less ambiguous contexts, on the United States of America.

But of course to even mention any of this makes one an evil person.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »


Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 16, 2010

Spotty of The Cucking Stool reminds us that not every charge lodged against a prominent person we don’t like is necessarily true:

Walter Liggett was a muckraking journalist in the Twin Cities, a contemporary of Jay Near, whom I have written about several times. When Liggett did some reporting on the connection between the crime syndicate of Kid Cann and the administration of Floyd B. Olson, allegations of sexual impropriety were lodged against Liggett:

Soon after alleging links between the criminal syndicate of Kid Cann and the administration of Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson, Liggett was beaten up, prosecuted on trumped-up kidnapping and sodomy charges (and acquitted), and finally died after being machine gunned in the alley behind his apartment on December 9, 1935, in view of his wife and two children. All witnesses, his wife Edith in particular, identified Cann as the shooter, but Cann was acquitted.

This is most probably a case of a highly effective disinformation campaign by western intelligence services, including the CIA. Calling Assange a rapist – especially at this point in the proceedings – is irresponsible and slanderous.

Liggett’s case is especially relevant as, like Assange, he was not particularly discreet in his targets: He irritated people of all classes, parties and creeds. This caused people to write him and his family off as crazy people. With Assange, one has the extra added hate-factor of opposing US imperial will, something that causes people to go utterly unhinged with hatred.

Just as political influence can be brought to bear to hush up actual sex crimes, it can also be used to invent fake ones (or manipulate actual ones) for the purpose of political gain.

Posted in media, Minnesota, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Flimsy