The United Nations is looking into a complaint on behalf of a US army private Bradley Manning, who is said to be mistreated while held since May in an American army custody pending trial. Manning, an army private suspected of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks, the Whistleblowing website, is being held in solitary confinement at a Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.
The United States military has denied mistreating an army private suspected of passing hundreds of thousands of classified US documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. Bradley Manning has been held in solitary confinement at a US Marine prison near Washington since July after being charged with eight counts under federal law, including transmitting classified information to a third party, and two counts under military law.
Bradley Manning, a private in the US military, stands accused of leaking classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to the website WikiLeaks. He is currently in a US military jail.
Julian Assange, founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has said he fears the United States is preparing to indict him on espionage charges. Speaking outside a mansion in southeastern England where he staying as part of his bail conditions, the 39-year-old Australian said he was being subjected to "what appears to be a secret grand jury against me or our organisation".
The website attacks launched by supporters of WikiLeaks show 21st-century cyber warfare evolving into a more amateur and anarchic affair than many predicted. Attempts to silence WikiLeaks after the leaking of some 250,000 classified US state department cables seem to have produced something rather different - something of a popular rebellion amongst hundreds or thousands of tech-savvy activists.
Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, is still in custody in a British jail while his legal team prepares to fight his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for alleged sex crimes against two women. Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer of the plaintiffs, said the high-profile case is pouring much unwanted attention on his clients.
Pro-WikiLeaks demonstrations have been held across Australia against the arrest of Julian Assange, the whistleblowing website's founder. In Sydney, around 500 demonstrators gathered on Friday, to push for the release of Assange, who is in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations. A group of WikiLeaks supporters also staged a rally in Brisbane, calling on the Australian government to respect freedom of expression.
Several leading Pakistani newspapers have acknowledged that they were hoaxed, after publishing reports based on fake WikiLeaks cables that contained crude anti-India propaganda. The reports, which featured prominently in several papers on Thursday, cited alleged US diplomatic cables as confirming many right-wing Pakistani views and conspiracy theories about the country's arch enemy India and the disputed Kashmir region.
Families in the Nigerian state of Kano have been awarded millions of dollars by Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, in a settlement over a medical trial that allegedly caused deaths and injuries. Pfizer carried out medical trials in Kano in 1996, when about 200 children were tested with an antibiotic called Trovan, which was supposed to treat meningitis. Eleven of those tested died soon after, while many others were left with deformities.
The petrol giant Shell has thoroughly infiltrated the Nigerian government, newly leaked WikiLeaks documents show. The multinational corporation inserted its employees into every key government ministry to gain unparallelled influence in policy-making in the oil rich Niger Delta, a revelation that is only the latest chapter of Shell's deeply troubled history in Nigeria. A US embassy cable released by the WikiLeaks whistle-blower website alleges that Royal Dutch Shell's top manager in Nigeria claimed the oil company had sources inside of "all relevant ministries" involving its business.
US drugmaker Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against the then Nigerian attorney-general to convince him to drop legal action against the company over a drug trial, the UK's Guardian newspaper has reported, citing leaked US diplomatic cables. Nigeria's Kano state sued the world's largest drugmaker in May 2007 for $2bn in damages over testing of the meningitis drug, Trovan, which state authorities said killed 11 children and left dozens disabled.
For professional historians the publication of the vast trove of diplomatic cables is a bittersweet affair. No one outside of the Washington establishment and the myriad foreign leaders shamed by revelations of their penchant for hatred, hubris and pedestrian peccadillos can seriously argue that the release of these classified documents has done anything but good for the cause of peace and political transparency.
An anonymous group of internet activists appear to have launched a series of cyber attacks to shut down the websites of Mastercard, a Swiss bank and the Swedish prosecutor's office in an apparent retaliation for action taken against WikiLeaks. A group calling itself "Anonymous" or "Anonymous Operations" said on its homepage on Wednesday that Mastercard.com was its "current target", after the credit card company stopped its payment services to the whisteblowing website.
The tone of the document is prim and earnest. The directive from the White House s office of management and budget instructs that new information security procedures must be drawn up - and right away - to ensure "that users [of classified information systems] do not have broader access than is necessary to do their jobs effectively".
Al Jazeera has dismissed claims based on leaked US diplomatic cables that Qatar, the network's home, uses the news channel as a bargaining chip in foreign policy negotiations. A report in The Guardian newspaper alleges that Qatari politicians use Al Jazeera as an "informal tool" to achieve foreign policy goals, ordering changes to the network's coverage in accordance with the country's national objectives. Al Jazeera said the claims were "very far from the truth", insisting that its journalists operate with complete editorial independence despite facing pressure from international governments.
Saudi Arabia is a key source of funds for armed groups, including al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to a leaked US state department assessment. In a series of diplomatic cables spanning several years, published by the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website on Sunday, the state department details how such groups continue to seek financing in Saudi Arabia, often posing as pilgrims visiting the Muslim holy sites.
There is a very real danger that some analysts, diplomats, commentators and politicians are taking all that is revealed by Wikileaks at face value, without questioning the veracity of some of the information gleaned from third sources and some of the information transmitted back by US diplomats, believing as they did that they were doing so under the cloak of anonymity. Take for instance the views of US diplomats who had met with their South Korean counterparts and who had apparently discussed China s attitude to North Korea. We learn from Wikileaks that the more sophisticated Chinese foreign policy officials (and there I was thinking that all Chinese foreign policy officials are sophisticated it goes with the terrain) believed that North Korea was increasingly behaving "like a spoilt child."
New revelations by whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks, has shown that the Irish government moved to limit transfers of US weapons to Israel through its airports in the wake of the country's war with Lebanon in 2006. The cable, sent from the US embassy in Ireland in 2006, said that "although supportive of continued US military transits at Shannon Airport, the Irish government has informally begun to place constraints on US operations at the facility, mainly in response to public sensitivities over US actions in the Middle East".
With controversy raging around the release of secret documents, what legal repercussions will WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, face? Assange is neither a US citizen nor a resident, so the extent of the reach of US law is in question. Interpol called for the arrest of Assange as his site's dumping of secret US cables exposed deep tensions between the United States and Pakistan over nuclear arms safety.