Spielberg studio buys rights to WikiLeaks book

March 4, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Featured Stories, World News

LONDON – Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios have bought the rights to a book written by two British journalists about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, their newspaper said Thursday.

“The rights to the book have been purchased by DreamWorks,” said a spokeswoman for The Guardian, which published the secret US diplomatic cables released by the whistle-blowing website last year.

Editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger told the newspaper the film would be “Woodward and Bernstein meets Stieg Larsson meets Jason Bourne, plus the odd moment of sheer farce and, in Julian Assange, a compelling character who goes beyond what any Hollywood scriptwriter would dare to invent”.

“WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy”, by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding, details the Australian former computer hacker’s life and times and their dealings with him over the release of US cables.

The Guardian’s ties with Assange have since become strained.

Assange is currently fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape, which he denies.

DreamWorks Studios were founded in 1994 by Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts the 9/11 gang that got away

February 2, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Featured Stories, US News, World News

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts the 9/11 gang that got away

The FBI has launched a manhunt for a previously unknown team of men suspected
to be part of the 9/11 attacks, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts 9/11 gang which got away

An airliner explodes in a fireball as it hits the south tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 Photo: GETTY

Secret documents reveal
that the three Qatari men conducted surveillance on the targets
,
provided “support” to the plotters and had tickets for a flight to
Washington on the eve of the atrocities.

The suspected terrorists flew from London to New York on a British Airways
flight three weeks before the attacks.

They allegedly carried out surveillance at the World Trade Centre, the White
House and in Virginia, the US state where the Pentagon and CIA headquarters
are located.

Ten days later they flew to Los Angeles, where they stationed themselves in a
hotel near the airport which the FBI has now established was paid for by a
“convicted terrorist”, who also paid for their airline tickets.

Hotel staff have told investigators they saw pilot uniforms in their room
along with computer print outs detailing pilot names, flight numbers and
times and packages addressed to Syria, Afghanistan, Jerusalem and Jordan.

On September 10 they were booked on an American Airlines flight from Los
Angeles to Washington, but failed to board. The following day the same
Boeing 757 aircraft was hijacked by five terrorists and crashed into the
Pentagon.

But, instead of boarding the American flight, the Qatari suspects – named as
Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid – flew back to London on a
British Airways flight before returning to Qatar. Their current location is
unknown.

Investigators are also hunting a fourth man, Mohamed Al Mansoori, who they say
supported the alleged terrorist cell while they were in the US.

The man, who is from the United Arab Emirates, previously lived in Long Beach,
Los Angeles. His current location is also unknown, and US officials
recommended that he is put on an international terror watch list because he
“may pose a threat to aviation in the US and abroad”.

The details of the secret 9/11 team have emerged
in a secret American government document
obtained by the Wikileaks
website and passed to The Daily Telegraph. It was sent between the American
Embassy in Doha and the Department for Homeland Security in Washington.

The document, sent on 11th February 2010, states: “Mr Al Mansoori is currently
under investigation by the FBI for his possible involvement in the 11
September 2001 attacks. He is suspected of aiding people who entered the US
before the attacks to conduct surveillance of possible targets and providing
other support to the hijackers.”

Details of the unknown 9/11 alleged plotters has never previously been
disclosed. An official inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly
3,000 people, indicated that the hijackers may have received assistance in
Los Angeles but investigators did not publicly provide more details.

The 9/11 Commission report, published in July 2004, states that at least two
of the hijackers previously visited Los Angeles but, at the time,
investigators appeared to have little information on their movements. The
report states they had a “brief stay in Los Angeles about which we know
little”.

Only one person – Zacarias Moussaoui – has been tried and convicted over
involvement in the 9/11 attacks as all the terrorists died in the crashed
planes. Moussaoui, accused of being the twentieth hijacker, was sentenced to
life in prison.

The secret American document contains detailed information about the movements
of the three alleged Qatari plotters.

They took BA flight 185 from London to New York on 15th August, 2001, and the
memo alleges that they subsequently conducted “surveillance” on potential
targets ahead of the 9/11 attacks. It states: “They visited the World Trade
Centre, the Statue of Liberty, the White House and various areas in
Virginia.”

They then flew on an American Airlines flight from Washington to Los Angeles,
arriving on 24th August and checking into a single room at a hotel near the
airport. They paid for the room with cash and during the last few days of
their stay requested that their room should not be cleaned.

The cable states: “Hotel cleaning staff grew suspicious of the men because
they noticed pilot type uniforms, several laptops and several cardboard
boxes addressed to Syria, Jerusalem, Afghanistan and Jordan in the room on
previous cleaning visits.

“The men had a smashed cellular phone in the room and a cellular phone
attached by wire to a computer. The room also contained pin feed computer
paper print outs with headers listing pilot names, airlines, flight numbers,
and flight times.”

While in the US, they were aided by Mohamed Ali Mohamed Al Mansoori. The
secret document also states that the three Qatari men spent a week
travelling with Mr Al Mansoori to “different destinations in California”.

The Qatari men were scheduled to board American Airlines Flight 144 on
September 10th from Los Angeles to Washington but did not turn up.

They instead boarded a British Airways flight to London, before flying back to
Doha on another BA flight.

The following day the same American Airlines aircraft, flying on route AA77,
was hijacked as it returned from Washington and crashed into the Pentagon,
killing 184 people.

It is not known whether the FBI believe that the men were simply assisting the
hijackers or were a fifth cell who pulled out at the final moment.
Alternatively, they may have been planning an attack on the West Coast of
America or even London which was abandoned or went wrong.

Mr Al Mansoori has never been publicly named in connection with the 9/11
attacks. The three Qatari men were included on an FBI list of more than 300
people who were wanted for questioning in connection with the 9/11 attacks,
which was leaked in 2002.

At the time, the FBI stressed it was not a list of suspects, but merely
parties they thought might have information useful to the investigation.

The US embassy cable obtained by the Daily Telegraph was written by Mirembe
Nantongo, the deputy chief of mission in Doha. It was marked “priority” and
sent to the office of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, the
Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA.

Mr Al Mansoori’s visa was revoked after the information about him came to
light, but “his name was not watchlisted in the class system”, suggesting he
may have managed to leave America.

A spokesman for the FBI declined to comment.

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776 comments
Showing 23 of 776 comments
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londondave
18 minutes ago
Recommended by 1 person
It’s HILARIOUS to watch the Assange loving 9/11 troofers suddenly try to find reasons why THIS Wikileaks is another Jewish conspiracy.

londondave
21 minutes ago
Recommended by 2 people
I would request that the Telegraph moderator REMOVES all SPAM posts from AUNT BEE. This is a coordinated troofer spam campaign that pukes all over conservative leaning blogs and websites. The account should be immediately disabled. Thank you.

26 minutes ago
Recommended by 3 people
What do the White neo-Liberal Left and the Troofer movement have in common ? 1) Neo- Anti-Racist= ( Anti -White ) 2) Anti-Capitalist 3) Anti-WASP 4) Anti-West 5) Anti-Israel 6) Pro-Islam 7) Socialist/ Cultural Marxist 8) White Post-Colonial Guilt 9) Third Worldist victimhood 10 ) Conservative = Evil Fascist 11) Everythings ” our ” fault What do you get when you put Troofers and Lefties together ? You get ” Loofers “

londondave
16 minutes ago
Recommended by 1 person
These articles always bring out the nexus between the Islamists, the Fascists and the Leftists united in their Jew hate. They are always very revealing about the pathological anti-Semitism that runs like a virus through modern fanatics.

geo1671
53 minutes ago
Recommended by 1 person
You asked: “How did the Israelies get thousands of barrels of diesel fuel and tons of explosives in the upper floors of the WTC towers?” Easy to find out,just ask Marvin Bush who had the security contracts at WTC 1, 2, 7 ,6,while you are at question any of the SUPPOSED israel art students who were given WTC passes and to occupy a whole WTC 92 th floor (a whole year prior to 9/II) by–Schumck Silverstien–freebee Get this–Sept 11 2001 attacks were planned long time prior to George Boy taking office–Hello master mind Billy Clinton, are you feeling the heat? Ever wondered why,when Israel is ever tied to the attacks–they really get mad– calling us anti semiticks. Only Jews from Israel could have pulled off the attacks–what’s worse than the attacks 911?–Israelies are using black mail–gives us money or we expose Billy Goat Clinton and that little wop– Rudy Jew’eelian got to see this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

londondave
15 minutes ago
Recommended by 1 person
I’d like to ask how did you manage to get up this morning. It must be a burden having to work you passions up for another frenzy of pathological Jew hate. But maybe not. Hey, have you heard about those Jews baking Christian babies into Matzo bread? Sounds crazy I know. And I know there are some Mossad sleeper agents out there who will call me an anti-Semite for mentioning that TRUE story. www.matzo_babies_essentials.co…

Guest
17 minutes ago
Comment removed.

londondave
12 minutes ago
And if she said it it must be true. I think they brought it all up in BAGELS. Bagels, Jews, Geddit!!!!!!

Today 03:15 PM
“The truth is more important than the facts.” – Frank Lloyd Wright http://911essentials.com

2fat2fish
Today 02:58 PM
The anthrax came from U.S laboratory????? That can’t be true. The teevee never mentions that…..and the teevee has taught me to be afraid of scary brown people, not the U.S. government.

londondave
5 minutes ago
I think you came out of a US laboratory. Some sort of hideous experiment went wrong. If we prick you, do you not bleed? Er, maybe not. I pray for you though.

Geosophus
Today 03:07 PM
Recommended by 1 person
Perhaps you don’t get out often. That is common knowledge. Blessings.

Today 02:30 PM
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” – Alice Roosevelt Longworth http://911essentials.com

Guest
Today 02:28 PM
Comment removed.

Today 02:36 PM
Recommended by 3 people
Pray, how did they get “thousands of gallons of DIESEL fuel” into the building? Another conspiracy theory bites the dust!!

Today 02:16 PM
Recommended by 1 person
“The following day the same American Airlines aircraft, flying on route AA77, was hijacked as it returned from Washington and crashed into the Pentagon, killing 184 people”. ja The plane never crashed to pentagon…it was a misil of your own country , if the plane crashed there were a lot of victims. (read the book of Thierry Meyssan). You yankees tolereted Bush administration for about 8 years (the worst administrattion in the history of US) and now you want to fired Obama??? Good luck USA….

Geosophus
Today 03:08 PM
Recommended by 3 people
You really need to adjust your medication.

Slidingintoit
27 minutes ago
Recommended by 1 person
Actually, YOU, Need to get a clue. YOU, are spouting ridicule, [EXTREMELY LAME RIDICULE at that]

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi
Today 01:56 PM
Was GETTY one of the 5 dancing Israeli agents? How is your 7/7 investigation? Blair looks under the weather.

Today 01:38 PM
Recommended by 3 people
On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced a “war on waste” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… after an internal audit found that the Pentagon was “missing” 2.3 trillion dollars in unaccounted assets. On September 11th, this was as good as forgotten. Where is that money? A trillion dollars in 2001 was worth much more than it is today. It just so happens that the impact zone at the pentagon on 9/11.01 housed all the documents that could account for the missing trillions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Today 02:16 PM
Recommended by 1 person
Here we go again – the gospel according to YouTube!!

Today 01:38 PM
Recommended by 1 person
“A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation.” – H. H. Munro (Saki) http://911essentials.com

Today 01:32 PM
Recommended by 6 people
Okay, a quick summary of my experience here tonight: I came here to read about this Wikileaked document, regarding another, previously-unknown (to the public) terrorist cell operating in the U.S. in connection to the events of 9/11. Just as a quick aside, there is no punishment too harsh where this Assange is concerned, who seems all-too-happy toying with the world through this slow drip of state secrets. (But why haven’t we been hearing about his enabler, Pfc Bradley Manning? Oh, that’s right — the media would never rock the boat right in the middle of the big debate about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And as most Americans would have him stand before a firing squad, Manning cannot be the face of his orientation in the U.S. military.) Anyway, after reading the article, I dived into the Comments Section. It was an amazing experience: a fever swamp of Truthers, all brazenly taking advantage of the platform to advance their conspiracy theories. In fact, so thorough was their takeover that anything deviating from direct discussion of their chosen subject — “the 9/11 hoax” — was summarily declared (by them) off-topic! At first, I thought it a complete waste of time, but I have been able to glean something useful: perspective. I don’t know if this is peculiar to the U.K. Telegraph’s readership, or if this is how Europeans generally feel; but I found it maddening, depressing, and oppressive. Let me just say this: Americans generally feel a kinship with the people across the Atlantic. After all, we are cousins, and not just in a genealogical sense. And many in America have been lamenting Europe’s slow, gradual decline and demographic crash. But after wading into this hijacked discussion forum — and yes, participating — I found myself beaten down. How can people who believe America is capable of such tremendous evil have ANY affinity for her? And of course, KNOWING that these views are so common among Europeans, how can informed Americans genuinely retain a genuine sense of kinship? At this point (remembering, of course, that our feelings are always subject to change) the connection strikes me as perfunctory and obligatory. Usually this is enough to carry two parties through (as the saying goes about blood being thicker than water), but it shouldn’t be this way. Thanks to the Telegraph for hosting the impromptu symposium. It was ugly, but at least everybody knows how everyone else feels — and things are not good.

paintchips
Today 02:39 PM
Recommended by 1 person
I was kind of surprised and saddened by the extreme nature of comment posts as well. From my perspective, I feel that most so called truthers are so intoxicated by paranoia that sober, clear thinking is impossible. Most of what they say is conjecture based on false assumptions. I wouldn’t read much more into it than that.
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Social Media Reactions

ak4mc
19 minutes ago
From twitter via BackType

From last decade’s news to breaking news: http://is.gd/awt2V7

tnlawgirl
44 minutes ago
From twitter via BackType

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts the 9/11 gang that got away http://bit.ly/fY13sC

cehwiedel
59 minutes ago
From twitter via BackType

.@jimgeraghty passes along a Telegraph story that there was ANOTHER team on 9/11 that ret’d to Qatar, http://bit.ly/gngKNV | whereabouts unk

lacticburn
Today 02:53 PM
From twitter via BackType

RT @wikileaks: WikiLeaks: FBI hunts three new 9/11 suspects http://is.gd/Xta63P

TheBorat
Today 02:53 PM
From twitter via BackType

You’re welcome: WikiLeaks: FBI hunts three new 9/11 suspects http://is.gd/Xta63P

ArtClipsDesign
Today 02:50 PM
From twitter via BackType

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts the 9/11 gang that got away: http://bit.ly/fY13sC via @addthis

MattMimick
Today 02:24 PM
From twitter via BackType

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts the 9/11 gang that got away – Telegraph http://t.co/CdnTsJx via @Telegraph

armadillosoft
Today 02:20 PM
From twitter via BackType

Not Iraqis, I guess. RT @JPBarlow: #WikiLeaks reveals FBI had other 911 conspirators in its sights & let them escape. http://bit.ly/DumbFBI

Netcrimes
Today 01:58 PM
From twitter via BackType

WikiLeaks: FBI hunts the 9/11 gang that got away – Telegraph http://t.co/WGpA9Ks

cbmlm_presse
Today 01:58 PM
From twitter via BackType

La ministre française des Affaires étrangères subit à nouveau les contrecoups de la « Révolution du jasmin »http://bit.ly/gngKNV
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Wikileaks: Stop Us? You’ll Have to Shut Down the Web

December 9, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Cyber/Space Control, Featured Stories

Julian Assange Jailed on Charges: Politically Motivated, or Just Convenient?

The arrest and detention of Julian Assange Tuesday on charges of rape and sexual assault was at the least a convenient development for government leaders who’ve sought ways to contain the leader of the controversial website Wikileaks.

But in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Jim Sciutto, Wikileaks’ spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson insisted Assange’s arrest won’t alter the site’s calculated release of thousands of secret government cables, which still continues according to plan. The site published a new slate of cables Wednesday.

“It is not derailing us in any way,” said Hrafnsson, adding that a group of five to six people is running Wikileaks’ operations in Assange’s absence. “This is a turning tide and starting a trend that you can’t really stop unless you want to shut down the Internet.”

Meanwhile, supporters of Assange are saying the timing and nature of the personal allegations against him are more than coincidence – they’re “politically motivated.” And the confluence of recent events gives at least the appearance that could be true.

In mid-August, two Swedish women told prosecutors and news outlets they had each had consensual sex with Assange, but that he didn’t use a condom against their wishes and subsequently refused to get tested for sexually-transmitted disease. Their complaint led to a warrant on charges of sexual molestation.

But now prosecutors allege Assange forcibly raped at least one of the women and sexually assaulted the other — significantly more serious allegations than what investigators initially pursued.

Assange, 39, was formally charged and held without bond in London on one count of rape, two of sexual assault, and one of coercion. He has denied the allegations and insists the sex with both women was consensual.

“Fortunately, the international corralling was successful,” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said shortly after Assange’s arrest. “Assange has hurt international diplomatic relations and I hope he is questioned and tried as established by law.”

Assange’s brainchild, Wikileaks, is also weathering its most intense attacks to date. The site has been bumped from its servers without notice and mysteriously cut off from key funding sources after PayPal and major credit card companies, Visa and MasterCard, pulled the plug pending “further investigation.”

“We are getting seriously close to censorship in the U.S., and that must surely go against the fundamental values the country is based upon,” said Hrafnsson.

But State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said via Twitter “the U.S. government did not write to PayPal requesting any action regarding #WikiLeaks. Not true.”

Swiss authorities Monday closed a Swiss bank account tied to Assange, freezing tens of thousands of dollars used to fund the Wikileaks operation, his lawyers said.

“It wouldn’t be surprising in the least that Wikileaks and political pressure from the U.S. and other affected governments has at least something to do with the current charges in Sweden,” said American University law professor Stephen Vladeck, an expert in national security and international criminal law. But “whether it’s because of that pressure [that he faces charges] is something I think we can’t know.”

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Europeans Accused of “Paranoia” Over Fears of U.S. Economic Espionage, Wikileaks Documents Reveal

By Tom Burghardt – Antifascist Calling

Confidential State Department documents released by the whistleblowing web site WikiLeaks, revealed that a European Parliamentary vote earlier this year that suspended participation in a U.S. government program that secretly monitored international bank transactions, surprised and angered the Obama administration.

In a stunning rebuke of U.S. policies the February 2010 memo, “Chancellor Merkel Angered by Lack of German MEP Support for TFTP,” 10BERLIN180 provided new evidence that the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (also known as Swift) is viewed skeptically by the European public and their representatives.

Distrust of the Swift program runs deep and its “War on Terror” pedigree is considered little more than a pretext for American spies to carry out economic espionage on behalf of U.S. multinationals.

Alarmed over privacy breaches by American firms and criminal acts, such as the illegal U.S. transfer of prisoners on CIA “black flights,” aided and abetted by European intelligence agencies, outraged public opinion forced the hand of parliamentarians, who voted overwhelming to suspend the program.

German opposition to Swift “was particularly damaging” The New York Times reported, “because the country was among a handful of allies that, according to a 2006 cable, made up a ‘coalition of the constructive’ organized to ensure that the Swift operation was not ‘ruined by privacy experts’.”

Launched shortly after the 9/11 provocation by the Bush administration, the secret program handed American officials unprecedented access to global financial information on bank transactions routed through a vast database administered by the Swift consortium in Brussels.

Access to such unique data would be particularly valuable to U.S. corporations. In light of evidence published in a 2001 European Parliament report that the National Security Agency’s ECHELON program was a cover for economic espionage, such fears are not unfounded.

Since the program’s disclosure in 2006 by The New York Times, criticism over its operations have mounted steadily.

CIA and Treasury Department officials secretly poured over records of some $6 trillion dollars in daily financial transactions flowing through global banks and brokerage houses.

“European Union regulators,” the ACLU reported, “found that the mass financial prying was not legally authorized, was conducted without proper checks and balances, and violated several important rules established to protect the privacy of Europeans.”

Increasing the “creep factor” amongst EU officials, the ACLU disclosed that the ultra-spooky Booz Allen Hamilton corporation had been hired to “oversee” the program by the federal government.

Concluding that the firm was not an “independent check” on Swift surveillance, the civil liberties’ watchdogs wrote that “Booz Allen is one of the largest U.S. Government contractors, with hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. Government contracts awarded each year. Booz Allen has a history of working closely with U.S. Government agencies on electronic surveillance, including the Total Information Awareness program.”

Initial misgivings amongst the public and privacy advocates have since blossomed into outright hostility, thus setting the stage for last summer’s vote.

Cynical Maneuvers

Noting that the American-led “War on Terror” coalition is fraying at the seams, U.S. Ambassador to Berlin Philip Murphy, wrote that “Merkel is particularly irritated with German MEPs from her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and sister Christian Social Union (CSU) parties, most of whom reportedly voted against the agreement despite previously indicating they would support it.”

The ambassador claimed that “public German reactions” to the European Parliament’s vote “have come exclusively from TFTP detractors who portrayed the veto as a sign that the European Parliament has won a victory over an arrogant Commission/Council, as well as delivering a rebuke to U.S. counterterrorism policies that undervalue data privacy.”

Free Democratic Party (FDP) Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a member of Merkel’s coalition, was derided by Murphy as “a strong proponent of data privacy rights,” who had welcomed the vote saying that “‘the citizens of Europe have won a victory today that strengthened not just data protection, but democracy in all of Europe.”

That’s certainly a “diplomatic” way of saying they don’t trust their American allies!

Undeterred however, Murphy recommended that the U.S. crank up the “Mighty Wurlitzer” disinformation machine a decibel or two.

“These events,” the ambassador wrote, “suggest the need to intensify our engagement with German government interlocutors, Bundestag and European parliamentarians, and opinion makers to demonstrate that the U.S. has strong data privacy measures in place.”

Murphy said this “debate was not just about TFTP;” the ambassador averred that “paranoia runs deep especially about U.S. intelligence agencies.”

Those quaint denizens of “old Europe,” where do they ever get such fanciful ideas!

U.S. Embassies: Global Spy Nets

In the Cablegate file, “Reporting and Collection Needs: The United Nations,” 09STATEE80163, dated July 31, 2009 and classified SECRET/NOFORN (“no foreign distribution”) we learned last week that under America’s revised National HUMINT Collection Directive (NCHD) U.S. diplomats and State Department employees under CIA cover are directed to spy on key UN personnel, including Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

State Department documents revealed that diplomats have been ordered to gather “as much of the following information as possible when they have information relating to persons linked to: office and organizational titles; names, position titles and other information on business cards; numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information, such as telephone directories (in compact disc or electronic format if available) and e-mail listings; internet and intranet ‘handles’, internet e-mail addresses, web site identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.”

U.S. overlords demanded that their diplomat-spies collect relevant data on “about current and future use of communications systems and technologies by officials or organizations, including cellular phone networks, mobile satellite phones, very small aperture terminals (VSAT), trunked and mobile radios, pagers, prepaid calling cards, firewalls, encryption, international connectivity, use of electronic data interchange, Voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP), Worldwide interoperability for microwave access (Wi-Max), and cable and fiber networks.”

Documents released so far have revealed that similar “diplomatic” spying operations are underway globally and target Bulgaria; Romania; Slovenia; Hungary; Venezuela; Paraguay; Palestine; African Great Lakes; and West Africa.

Denouncing WikiLeaks for the embarrassing disclosures, not for U.S. duplicity and deceit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who authorized the surreptitious collection programs, said last week that covert action by its foreign service “is the role our diplomats play in serving America.”

A “Well-Placed Source”

Despite full knowledge, “we were astonished to learn” ambassador Murphy wrote, “how quickly rumors about alleged U.S. economic espionage–at first associated with the new U.S. air passenger registration system (ESTA), then with TFTP–gained currency among German parliamentarians in the run-up to the February 11 vote in Strasbourg.”

Are there legitimate reasons perhaps, why “paranoia” would “run deep” among the public, or the German government for that matter, considering the track record of “U.S. intelligence agencies”?

Last Friday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle’s chief of staff, Helmut Metzner, was sacked after he confessed he was the “young, up-and-coming party loyalist” who served as an American asset inside the Free Democratic Party, a coalition partner of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-wing government.

Der Spiegel reported that Metzner was the “top-level national party employee responsible for passing secret information on to US diplomats during the negotiations to form the current German government in 2009.”

According to the 2009 Cablegate file 09BERLIN1271, “Westerwelle Firm on Removal of Nuclear Weapons,” Metzner is described therein as “a well-placed FDP source.”

From his perch, Metzner was privy to sensitive information that he passed on to his American handlers; in fact the go-getter was “the head of international relations for the national party.” Rather conveniently, one might say!

Indeed, the strategist-spy “shared with Emboffs and visiting Senior Germany Desk Officer October 7 information on issues discussed during the first two days of these negotiations as well as the negotiations schedule and working group make-up. Source serves as his party’s notetaker for the negotiations and has been a long-standing close Embassy contact.”

“It’s now clear,” Der Spiegel reported, “why the US ambassador appeared so pleased in his cables back to Washington–after all, his mole had the ear of the head of the party and was part of the inner circle of party leadership.”

Eventually, ambassador Murphy’s call to “intensify our engagement with German government interlocutors, Bundestag and European parliamentarians, and opinion makers” over the Swift program paid off.

In July, “after mobilizing top administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.,” the Obama administration was able to reverse the vote in the European Parliament, “after the United States made modest concessions that promised greater European oversight,” The New York Times reported.

“Concessions” that will accelerate the erosion of privacy rights while enhancing U.S. efforts to steal economic secrets from their capitalist rivals.

Tuesday’s arrest of Julian Assange in Britain on a dubious Swedish warrant, and the court’s refusal to grant the activist/journalist bail, will not stop the leaks. Despite intense pressure from the Pentagon, the State Department and lickspittle American politicians, more than 500 web sites currently mirror WikiLeaks.

The steady drip, drip, drip of dark secrets will continue, as will further revelations of U.S. crimes.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research ,  his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

Cryptogon: Anonymous Running Attacks on Anti-Wikileaks Sites with Low Orbit Ion Cannon Army of hackers targets the Swedish government, Sarah Palin and credit card giants in WikiLeaks ‘Operation: Payback’

December 9, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Cyber/Space Control, US News, World News

  • Visa, PayPal, Amazon also come under attack through the night
  • Hackers bring down Swedish government internet site
  • Sarah Palin’s personal credit card account and website targeted
  • 5,000 ‘hacktivists’ believed to be behind electronic onslaught

Computer hackers have sent two of the world’s biggest credit card companies into meltdown in revenge for cutting off payments to the WikiLeaks website.

The attack was launched by a shadowy international group called ‘Anonymous’ which said MasterCard and Visa had been targeted for freezing the account of the whistleblowing site.

The devastating blow to the credit card giants came on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.

Hackers also targeted online payment system PayPal, Amazon and a Swiss bank over the WikiLeaks row.

The Swedish government’s website was also brought down this morning after a fresh wave of cyber attacks together with former US vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.

Up to 5,000 hackers have combined under the 'Operation Payback' umbrella to target Visa and MastercardUp to 5,000 hackers have combined under the ‘Operation Payback’ umbrella to target Visa and Mastercard

Mrs Palin’s website, SarahPAC.com, has been targeted as well as her personal credit card information.

SarahPAC aide Rebecca Mansour told ABC news:’No wonder others are keeping silent about (WikiLeaks founder Julian) Assange’s antics.

Operation: Payback was formed in September to target groups opposed to internet piracy Operation: Payback was formed in September to target groups opposed to internet piracy

‘This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.’

Palin sparked fury among WikiLeaks supporters when she urged the US goverment to pursue Assange in the same way it sought Taliban leaders.

Yesterday, a six-hour stoppage on the Mastercard secure code system is thought to have affected hundreds of thousands of shoppers worldwide and highlights how vulnerable the world’s computer systems are to attack.

Last night Visa website was also taken down for a period after it came under attack.

It is thought just a few dozen ‘hacktivists’ launched the electronic onslaught, which was taken up by thousands of other supporters.

The ‘distributed denial of service’ (DDoS) attack involved around 5,000 computers bombarding the website’s host computers with requests for information, causing them to crash.

WikiLeaks has been publishing classified U.S. diplomatic cables, to the fury of Washington authorities.

They have lobbied to cut off all support for the website which they are desperate to shut down.

Yesterday a spokesman for Anonymous, calling himself ‘Coldblood’, a 22-year-old computer programmer based in London, said: ‘Websites that are bowing down to government pressure have become targets.

WikiLeaks founderJulian Assange has been remanded in custody over claims that he sexually assaulted two Swedish womenWikiLeaks founderJulian Assange has been remanded in custody over claims that he sexually assaulted two Swedish women

‘As an organisation we have always taken a strong stance on censorship and freedom of expression on the internet and come out against those who seek to destroy it by any means.

‘We feel that WikiLeaks has become more than just about leaking of documents, it has become a war ground, the people versus the government.

‘The idea is not to wipe them off but to give the companies a wake-up call.’

In a further communique online, Anonymous warned: ‘We will fire at anything or anyone that tries to censor WikiLeaks, including multibillion-dollar companies such as PayPal.’

The spokesman added that the group’s intention ‘was to be a force for chaotic good’.

Anonymous has previously been linked to attacks on websites belonging to the Church of Scientology and the music industry.

VisaThis online retailer took to Facebook to warn customers they might experience problems paying for wine

A screen shot of the Mastercard website showing technical problems yesterday afternoonA screen shot of the Mastercard website showing technical problems yesterday afternoon

Yesterday’s onslaught was dubbed ‘Operation: Payback’. MasterCard first reported an attack which partially shut down its corporate website Mastercard.com at around 9.30am yesterday.

Initially it said no customers had been affected. But by the evening the attacks had escalated and it is thought hundreds of thousands of online transactions were stopped.

THE VOLUNTEER NETWORK OF HACKERS CALLED ‘ANONYMOUS’ WHICH HAS BROUGHT CHAOS TO THE INTERNET

Target: Sarah Palin signs her new book 'America By Heart, Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag'

Target: Sarah Palin’s website has been attacked

The hackers targeting Visa and Mastercard work by overwhelming a websites’ servers with enormous volumes of traffic, dubbed ‘distributed denial-of-service’ attack.

Operation: Payback supporters volunteer their computers to become part of a remotely controlled network, called a ‘botnet’.

This allows the hackers to disable targeted websites by directing millions of requests for information from multiple sources, making the internet site inaccessible to other users.

Anonymous – the shadowy group behind the attacks – has handed thousands of followers a user-friendly tool to download and join the assault.

‘Think of it like a voluntary botnet,’ says an installation guide for the tool.

Anyone taking part in the cyber attacks can then claim they have a computer virus if they are accused of participating.

The chances of being arrested for using the tool are said to be ‘next to zero’ as a result.

If users follow the instructions for the Anonymous botnet, once it is up and running, they are told to: ‘Sit back and watch the show.’

The problem came about when shoppers tried to pay for their purchases and were redirected to a website run by MasterCard called Securecode.

This site was not authorising payments so the transactions could not be completed.

MasterCard declined to confirm that customers had been affected. But in a statement made to a respected website it reportedly said it suffered ‘a service disruption to the MasterCard Directory Server’ and added that ‘customers may still be experiencing intermittent connectivity issues’.

Last night MasterCard said in a statement from its HQ in New York that its systems had not been compromised by ‘a concentrated effort to flood our corporate web site with traffic and slow access’.

It said: ‘We are working to restore normal service levels. There is no impact on our cardholders’ ability to use their cards for secure transactions globally.’

A spokesman for Visa said the site experienced ‘heavier than normal traffic’ and repeated attempts to load the Visa.com and Visa.co.uk sites were met without success.

A PayPal executive admitted the firm stopped processing WikileLeaks’ payments after being pressured by the US State Department.

Speaking at a conference in Paris, Osama Bedier said: ‘The US State Deptartment told us these were illegal activities. It was straightforward.’

According to the website TechCrunch, the admission was greeted by a chorus of boos from the audience.

Bedier, a PayPal vice president, added: ‘We first comply with regulations around the world making sure that we protect our brand.’

He claimed the State Department branded WikiLeaks illegal on November 27.

But in a statement released last night, PayPal’s general counsel John Muller insisted the State Department had not been in contact with the firm.
He added that while the WikiLeaks account will remain restricted, ‘PayPal will release all remaining funds in the account to the foundation that was raising funds for WikiLeaks’.

The statement continued: ‘We understand that PayPal’s decision has become part of a broader story involving political, legal and free speech debates surrounding WikiLeaks’ activities.

‘None of these concerns factored into our decision. Our only consideration was whether or not the account associated with WikiLeaks violated our Acceptable Use Policy and regulations required of us as a global payment company.

‘Our actions in this matter are consistent with any account found to be in violation of our policies.’

DDoS attacks, which are illegal in the UK, involve overloading a website with high numbers of requests so it stops working.

In a blog linked to its Twitter account, Anonymous wrote: ‘Hello World. We are Anonymous. What you do or do not know about us is irrelevant. We have decided to write to you, the media, and all citizens of the free world at large to inform you of the message, our intentions, potential targets, and our ongoing peaceful campaign for freedom.

‘The message is simple: freedom of speech. Anonymous is peacefully campaigning for freedom of speech everywhere in all forms. Freedom of speech for: the internet, for journalism and journalists, and citizens of the world at large. Regardless of what you think or have to say; Anonymous is campaigning for you.’

The post continued: ‘The internet is the last bastion of freedom in this evolving technical world. The internet is capable of connecting us all.

‘When we are connected we are strong. When we are strong we have power. When we have power we are able to do the impossible. This is why the government is moving on WikiLeaks. This is what they fear. They fear our power when we unite. Do not forget this.’

Their blog post vowing to fight any organisation which supports censorship came as WikiLeaks’ payment processor, DataCell, said it was preparing to take legal action against the credit card companies over their refusal to process donations.

DataCell ehf chief executive Andreas Fink said in a statement: ‘It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down. We strongly believe a world-class company such as Visa should not get involved in politics and just simply do their business where they are good at. Transferring money.’

Anonymous said it was leading a ‘peaceful campaign’ and denied being a terrorist or vigilante organisation.

The blog post continued: ‘Anonymous is doing what many successful campaigns have done in the past; a sit-in. It may be hard to comprehend, but a digital sit-in is our most effective method to show that all of us deserve freedom of speech and a free internet.

‘Our methods may appear, on the outside, to be cruel to those the entities that we are campaigning against, but remember by supporting censorship they are denying everyone a basic human right.’

Fears were raised in the Twitter-sphere last night that the microblogging site might become the next target after the group’s account, Anon-Operation, was closed and Anonymous posted a statement claiming: ‘Twitter you’re next for censoring WikiLeaks discussion.’

But in a further posting on Anonops, the group said: ‘We are not hacking Twitter… DON’T WORRY!… All we are saying that they closed our official account and that is not FREE SPEECH!’

Some supporters accuse Twitter of preventing the term ‘WikiLeaks’ appearing on the site’s popular trending topics, a claim that Twitter has denied.

As well as DDoS attacks, Anonymous is helping to create hundreds of mirror sites for WikiLeaks, allowing users to continue to access the website’s content via a different server.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, 39, has been remanded in custody over claims that he sexually assaulted two Swedish women.

The websites of the Swedish Prosecutor and the lawyer representing the women were attacked yesterday.

Other websites targeted included those of U.S. senator Joe Lieberman, an outspoken critic of WikiLeaks.

Have you been affected by the MasterCard cyber attacks? Ring 0207 9386059

The second coming? A figure of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange finds its way into a nativity scene in Naples, ItalyThe second coming? A figure of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange finds its way into a nativity scene in Naples, Italy

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