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Entries in WikiLeaks (6)

Friday
Jun072013

Wikileaks Redux? Intel Officials Fear More Leaks

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Guardian appears to have obtained yet another “TOPSECRET/NOFORN” document.  This one is a Presidential Policy Directive on U.S. cyber operations and directs the President’s national security team to “identify a list of potential targets” for US cyber attacks.

But more significant than the document itself is the fact that was leaked – the third such TOPSECRET document to the same reporter, Glenn Greenwald, who received the leaks of the documents dealing with the FISA phone records and Operation PRISM.

There is concern in the intelligence community that these leaks may be the tip of the iceberg — that the administration is facing another WikiLeaks situation with an individual with access to lots of classified information and prepared to leak more.

One senior US intelligence official also notes that these leaks come just as the trial of Bradley Manning, the WikiLeaks leaker, has begun.

The source says: “I am guessing here but the Manning trial can’t be a pure coincidence.”

There is one important distinction between the “Secret” documents Bradley Manning is accused of leaking and the “TOPSECRET” documents that have been leaked to the Guardian.

On this latest leak regarding potential targets in a cyber war, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden has already released a statement which seems to confirm the authenticity of the document by defending its contents:

“As we have already publicly acknowledged, last year the President signed a classified Presidential directive relating to cyber operations, updating a similar directive dating back to 2004. This step is part of the Administration’s focus on cybersecurity as a top priority. The cyber threat has evolved, and we have new experiences to take into account.

“This directive establishes principles and processes for the use of cyber operations so that cyber tools are integrated with the full array of national security tools we have at our disposal. It provides a whole-of-government approach consistent with the values that we promote domestically and internationally as we have previously articulated in the International Strategy for Cyberspace.

“This directive will establish principles and processes that can enable more effective planning, development, and use of our capabilities. It enables us to be flexible, while also exercising restraint in dealing with the threats we face. It continues to be our policy that we shall undertake the least action necessary to mitigate threats and that we will prioritize network defense and law enforcement as the preferred courses of action. The procedures outlined in this directive are consistent with the U.S. Constitution, including the President’s role as commander in chief, and other applicable law and policies.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar132011

PJ Crowley Resigns from State Dept. Post After Controversial Comments

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned Sunday, under pressure to step down from the White House.

The impetus for his termination were comments he made last week at M.I.T. when he said the Pentagon’s treatment of Private Bradley Manning, suspected of leaking cables to WikiLeaks, is “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”

Asked by ABC News if he agreed with that, President Obama said Friday that he had “asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.” Pentagon officials, he said, “assure me that they are. I can't go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning's safety as well.”

"PJ has served our nation with distinction for more than three decades, in uniform and as a civilian," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. "His service to country is motivated by a deep devotion to public policy and public diplomacy, and I wish him the very best."

Manning was arrested in May 2010 after telling a former hacker that he had given documents to WikiLeaks. Earlier this month the Army filed 22 new counts against him including aiding the enemy, theft of public property or records, computer fraud, transmitting information in violation of the Espionage Act.

On January 19, Amnesty International wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to “express concern about the conditions under which Private First Class (PFC) Bradley Manning is detained at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia,” saying that “the restrictions imposed in PFC Manning’s case appear to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec162010

Ralph Nader: Julian Assange Prosecution a 'Distraction' from Executive Branch Secrecy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ralph Nader, a leading consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, delivered a spirited public defense of WikiLeaks Thursday and called the prosecution of Julian Assange a “distraction” from a more disconcerting issue: the Obama and Bush administrations’ fixation with secrecy.

“If you take all of the present and probably future disclosures under the WikiLeaks initiative, the vast majority should never have been classified,” Nader told a House Judiciary Committee hearing on legal and constitutional issues surrounding WikiLeaks’ publication of secret government documents.

“The vast majority are reprehensible use of people employing taxpayer dollars, the vast majority should have been disclosed, if not, never stated for the benefit of the American people to hold their government accountable,” he said.

Nader praised WikiLeaks as a "whistleblower" and called the administration’s pending legal case against Assange a “very dangerous” diversion from what he views as encroachment of the executive branch on freedom of speech and the public’s right to know.

Attorney General Eric Holder has said WikiLeaks’ actions have put the lives of Americans at risk and that the Justice Department will prosecute those involved with the leak and worldwide dissemination of the materials.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

ABC News Exclusive: Sarah Palin Under Cyber-Attack from WikiLeaks Supporters in 'Operation Payback'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The website and personal credit card information of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin were cyber-attacked Wednesday by WikiLeaks supporters, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate tells ABC News in an e-mail.

Hackers in London apparently affiliated with “Operation Payback” -- a group of supporters of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts.

“No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange's antics,” Palin e-mailed. “This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.”

Palin has criticized WikiLeaks founder Assange, writing on Facebook that his “past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?...Assange is not a 'journalist' any more than the 'editor' of al Qaeda's new English-language magazine Inspire is a 'journalist.’ He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands."

Activist Gregg Housh told The New York Times "that 1,500 people were in online forums and chatrooms including Anonops.net, mounting mass and repeated 'denial of service' attacks on sites that have moved against Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks in recent days."

A cached page from Anonops.net shows Palin's site as a suggested target.

A SarahPAC.com technical aide said that “on our server log this morning it showed the attacks coming from a browser identified as wikileaks.org.  It has since spread to others entitled ‘anonymous.’”

SaraPAC aide Rebecca Mansour added that WikiLeaks supporters claim to be “in favor of free speech yet they attack Sarah Palin for exercising her free speech.” She said SarahPAC.com was not harmed because Palin’s staff was able to move quickly to protect the site.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec032010

Bipartisan Trio of Senators Introduces Bill Targeting Wikileaks

Photo Courtesy - Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, joined by Sen. John Ensign of Nevada and Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, introduced legislation Thursday to amend the Espionage Act in an effort to target Wikileaks and founder Julian Assange.
 
The lawmakers said their bill, known as the SHIELD Act, will help close gaps in the law and make it illegal to publish the names of sources in the U.S. military and intelligence communities.
 
"He is a computer hacker and an anarchist," Ensign said of Assange in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday. "Make no mistake -- these actions have harmed our friends and helped our enemies in a manner prejudicial to the safety and the national interest of the United States."
 
"I have no doubt that Julian Assange is going to put out another document on his website and another one after that and once he does, this bill will give the administration increased flexibility to deal with him and potentially other copy-cat organizations that aspire to his likeness," Ensign added.
 
Ensign attempted to address concerns that the bill could affect traditional media outlets by stating that "this bill does not target journalists" and "does not stop anyone from publishing leaks."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov262010

Ahead of Latest WikiLeaks' Release, State Dept. Warns Allies

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo Courtesy - BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the website WikiLeaks set to release a new trove of sensitive information, the U.S. government is already bracing for the worldwide fallout, pre-emptively warning allies in the hope of lessening the blow once classified documents go public.

WikiLeaks and its controversial founder Julian Assange are reportedly prepared to publish a cache of information including hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables that could embarrass the U.S. government as well as other governments around the world. WikiLeaks said its next release will be seven times the size of its last leak in October, which contained some 400,000 Pentagon documents about the war in Iraq. Last July, WikiLeaks also published roughly 70,000 documents about the war in Afghanistan.

Senior U.S. officials warn that the next round of WikiLeaks documents would be considerably more damaging than the two previous WikiLeaks document dumps.

"This is outrageous and dangerous," a senior U.S. official told ABC News. "This puts at risk the ability of the United States to conduct foreign policy. Period. End of paragraph."

Although the State Department said it did not know specifically what could be released, the scope of the documents goes far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, essentially detailing day-to-day operation of U.S. foreign policy, including summaries of confidential discussions with foreign officials and intelligence sources, and dissidents and opposition figures.

The big worry among U.S. authorities is that the documents would reveal names and detailed discussions with individuals who expected that their conversations with U.S. officials would be kept confidential. In the case of intelligence sources and dissidents in oppressive countries, this could put lives of U.S. sources at risk.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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