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Entries in WikiLeaks (59)

Saturday
Dec042010

Pakistani, Afghan Leaders Dismiss WikiLeaks Claims

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (R) shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (L) after a press conference Saturday in Kabul. Photo Courtesy - MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- In a joint press conference Saturday in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani both dismissed revelations contained in cables released by WikiLeaks as inaccurate and unsurprising. Karzai rejected allegations of corruption not by denying them, but by suggesting that the most outlandish allegation – that his former vice president smuggled $52 million in cash to Dubai – was physically impossible.

"$52 million! If you put $52 million in boxes it will be at least 30 big suitcases,” Karzai said. “Can someone carry 30 suitcases with them?"

Gilani urged caution, essentially calling it unwise to jump to conclusions based on the information released by WikiLeaks.

“These are just some of the views of junior officers of some of the [embassies] and they are not authentic,” he said. “Therefore we should not even take them seriously."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec022010

WikiLeaks Founder in Britain; Swedish Court Upholds His Arrest Order

Photo Courtesy - Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The founder of WikiLeaks faces criticism for revealing secret documents, as well as very personal legal trouble, which is why authorities want to talk to him.

ABC News has confirmed that Julian Assange is in Britain, and British police know how to reach him.  The 39-year-old's lawyers said he supplied police with a phone number and address when he arrived in the country back in October.

British police are waiting for clarification from authorities in Sweden, where a court has ruled that Assange cannot appeal against an arrest order issued over alleged sexual crimes.

Two Swedish women have accused Assange of sexually assaulting them after he visited the country in August.  He denies the accusations and has not been formally charged.

This week, Interpol issued a so-called red notice against him, and he can be arrested in 188 countries.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec012010

United States Is Prepared To Protect Dissidents Named In Wikileaks Cables

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department said Wednesday the U.S. is prepared to protect dissidents and activists who have spoken with U.S. embassies abroad and may be in danger after having been outted by the Wikileaks cables.

“We've done everything that we can to reach out to them.  We are prepared to -- to help protect them if that becomes necessary,” spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters.

“We believe that the release of these cables definitely puts real lives at risk,” he added.

Crowley said he was unaware of any cases so far of activists being persecuted as a result of the cables’ release, but this was one of the issues that most worried the State Department last week ahead of the Wikileaks release. Officials worked with news organizations to redact as many names and identifying information as possible that could identify which human rights activists or political opposition figures in authoritarian countries had spoken to the U.S.

Asked if the U.S. was prepared to provide such individuals asylum, Crowley suggested that may not be on the table, saying “asylum is a particular category that -- that has a particular, you know, standard of care associated with it, but if -- if we have to help relocate people, you know, for a period of time, we are prepared to do that.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

WikiLeaks' Assange Wanted By Interpol for 'Sex Crimes'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(GOTHENBURG, Sweden) -- Interpol on Tuesday issued a warrant for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his alleged connection to sex crimes.

While no one at Interpol was available for comment, the wanted notice appears to be a Red Notice.  According to Interpol, this is not an international arrest warrant, but many countries consider a Red Notice a valid request for provisional arrest for extradition. Assange is wanted in Sweden.

Earlier Tuesday, Swedish officials said Assange had filed another appeal against the court order to detain him on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

Hacker Says He Attacks Jihadist Websites, Took Down WikiLeaks

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A computer hacker is claiming he temporarily disabled the WikiLeaks site Sunday afternoon, just as the latest dump of leaked State Department memos were scheduled to publish on the site.

The site was down temporarily on Sunday, the same time the hacker began tweeting he had begun attacking it.

"www.wikileaks.org - TANGO DOWN - for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops, 'other assets' & foreign relations," he tweeted late Sunday morning.

"Tango down" is a Special Forces military term for having eliminated a terrorist.

He goes by the Twitter handle "th3j35t3r", which is leetspeak for "The Jester."

On his website, th3j35t3r calls himself a "hacktivist for good." A "hacktivist" -- a hacker-activist, supposedly hacks for a good cause. His cause is preventing young people from being recruited online by jihadists. He does this by hacking jihadist websites, and temporarily disabling them.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

Wikileaks: Saudi King Urged Chip Implants to Track Gitmo Prisoners

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah proposed that the Obama administration implant electronic micro-chips into the bodies of Guantanamo Bay detainees to track their movements when they are released, a leaked State Department cable shows.

"This was done with horses and falcons, the king said," according to the document, which was first posted online by Wikileaks.  Abdullah suggested Bluetooth technology could be used to keep tabs on the men.

The king raised the idea in a March 2009 meeting with White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan in Riyadh, where the men had discussed a range of security issues including closure of the U.S. military detention center of Guantanamo Bay.

"I've just thought of something," the king said to Brennan, suggesting the chips.

Brennan responded politely, explaining that "horses don't have good lawyers" and the idea would likely face stiff opposition from civil libertarians in the U.S.  He assured Abdullah, however, that "keeping track of detainees was an extremely important issue" to the administration.

A recent Pentagon analysis found that around 20 percent of former Guantanamo detainees have returned to the fight against the U.S. and continues to climb.

Brennan told Abdullah that the Obama administration was committed to closing Guantanamo and was working closely with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef on how to resolve the cases of 99 Yemeni detainees.

Abdullah made an "unusual concession" at the end of the meeting, according to the cable, saying "be assured I am fully briefed on the work you are doing with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef."

The Brennan-Abdullah meeting is one of dozens of interesting anecdotes buried within the initial release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. government documents exposed by Wikileaks Sunday and posted online.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov292010

US Officials: WikiLeakers Will Be Held Accountable

Photo Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration's top diplomat and lawyer put WikiLeaks and its Australian founder on alert Monday, promising to prosecute any individual, regardless of nationality, who broke U.S. law by making public hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables.

"[To] the extent that we can find anybody involved of breaking American law who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described…they will be held responsible. They will be held accountable," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the release of hundreds of thousands of secret cables "not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests [but] an attack on the international community: the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."

"Some mistakenly applaud those responsible," Clinton said. "There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people…nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations."

Holder said he advocates closing any gaps in current U.S. legislation that would prevent the federal government from fully prosecuting a foreign national like WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who published secrets of vital American national interest.

The current raft of documents, some 250,000 diplomatic cables that span decades and include various – and sometimes embarrassing – details about the way U.S. evoys see their foreign counterparts is the latest document dump Wikileaks received last year from Army Private Bradley Manning, currently awaiting court martial.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov182010

WikiLeaks Founder Wanted in Sweden Rape, Sex Assault Cases

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(SWEDEN) – A Swedish prosecutor has called for the detention of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as investigators have been unable to bring Assange in for questioning on rape and sexual assault cases for which he is a suspect, according to local news reports.

"I request the court to detain Assange in his absence, on suspicion of rape, sexual assault and coercion or oppression. Background is that he must be interrogated in the investigation and that he could not be found for the implementation of these hearings," said chief prosecutor Marianne New in a statement that has been translated into English.

Assagne is accused of rape stemming from an incident in August in Enköping as well as three cases of sexual molestation in Stockholm and Enköping and a case of duress in Stockholm. The complainants were two young women.

Assange’s council has released a statement on his behalf.

“Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents,” said Mark Stephens, head council for Assange. “Only after the women became aware of each other’s relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.”

In the statement, Stephen’s alleges that Assange’s name had been unlawfully released to the press by Swedish authorities and that the accusations have been carried away due to his notoriety.

Assange is an Australian journalist best known for founding the political activism website WikiLeaks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct222010

WikiLeaks: 400,000 Classified Documents Released

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo Courtesy - BERTIL ERICSON | AFP | Getty Images(LONDON) -- The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has released a trove of classified reports that it said documented at least 109,000 deaths in the Iraq war, more than the United States previously has acknowledged, as well as what it described as cases of torture and other abuses by Iraqi and coalition forces.

"The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces)," WikiLeaks said in a statement regarding the documents' release. "The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60 percent) of these are civilian deaths. That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six-year period."

At a news conference in London on Saturday, WikiLeaks said it would soon publish 15,000 additional secret Afghan war documents.

The new documents covered 2004 through 2009, WikiLeaks said, with the exception of May 2004 and March 2009.

A review of the documents by Iraq Body Count, an advocacy group that long has monitored civilian casualties in the war, found 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths, according to WikiLeaks -- a detail first reported in The Guardian newspaper, one of a handful of international news organizations that got an advance look at the documents.

The U.S. military long has maintained that it does not keep an official death tally, but earlier this month following a Freedom of Information Act request, the Pentagon said some 77,000 Iraqis had been killed from 2004 to mid-2008 -- a shorter period than that covered by WikiLeaks.

The massive leak of 391,832 documents, which WikiLeaks billed as "the largest classified military leak in history," followed WikiLeaks' similar but smaller release on the war in Afghanistan.

The new release was anticipated by the Pentagon, which has warned that publicizing the information could endanger U.S. troops.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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