Conspiracy to bankrupt & incitement to murder: WikiLeaks opponents act with impunityYesterday’s Wikileaks press conference demonstrated how US far-right Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter King played a crucial part in the criminalisation of WikiLeaks and the instigation of a financial blockade (with possibly some assistance from Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard). And then there is the outstanding matter of leading politicians and media personalities – see below for names and proof – who called for the assassination of Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks. If you or I had demanded someone be murdered (or a business bankrupted) we would be served with a writ and arrested within days. So is it not long overdue that these people also face justice of one sort or another?
A. Incitement to murder Assange: the evidence
Identified in the links below, the following people called for the assassination or execution of Julian Assange. They may well be guilty of incitement to murder and so liable to prosecution:
Sarah Palin, Thomas Flanagan, Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Todd Schnitt, Jeffrey Kuhner, John Hawkins, Ralph Peters, Steve Gill, Rush Limbaugh, William Kristol, G. Gordon Liddy, Deroy Murdock, Johan Goldberg, Donald Douglas, Mike Huckabee, Jason Lancaster…
B. The criminalisation of WikiLeaks
1. Shortly after WikiLeaks released US diplomatic cables, it was hit with massive cyber attacks.
2. Lieberman, then the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, publicly and privately — and successfully — leaned on Amazon.com to terminate its hosting services to WikiLeaks.
3. Lieberman also tried to introduce the SHIELD Act into the Senate and advocated prosecuting the New York Times for espionage in connection with WikiLeaks’ releases.
4. Republican Peter King, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, tried to formally designate WikiLeaks as a foreign terrorist organization, have its staff listed as ‘enemy combatants’, and have WikiLeaks put on a U.S. Treasury blacklist. However, on 13 January, 2011, the US Treasury announced it would not do so because there was no evidence that WikiLeaks should be on such a list.
5. While Lieberman and King were unsuccessful in these methods of legally cutting WikiLeaks from its popular donor base, they were successful in doing so, extra-legally, via VISA and MasterCard, which together hold a monopoly of 97 per cent of the market of EU card payments.
C. The banking blockade
At its peak, WikiLeaks received almost £97,000 a day in donations and without the blockade – which the European Commission (EC) has admitted was unlikely to have violated EU antitrust rules – WikiLeaks would be “20 times bigger”. It is estimated that because of the banking blockade, WikiLeaks has missed out on around £30 million in donations. (Note: the video at the top of this article was made 18 months back and the sums referred to are correct at that point in time.) The banking blockade against Wikileaks is, of course, completely politically motivated. Newspaper and other media publish secret material that has been leaked all the time. Indeed, the New York Times and the Washington Post rely heavily on anonymous leaks of secret information from US government sources.
Meanwhile, the European Commission refuses to lift the financial blockade of WikiLeaks, as instigated by U.S. far-right Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter King, even though the European Parliament has now agreed the blockade should not have been put in place. DataCell, a company that collected donations for WikiLeaks, complained to the Commission about Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe, among others, after they stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks. In a recent preliminary decision last week, the EC refused to open a formal antitrust investigation into the matter. WikiLeaks and DataCell this week appealed to the Commission to reverse that refusal. A decision is expected in four to six weeks.
Here is the recent WikiLeaks press release in full, which now includes European Commission documents in pdf format on their recent review of the blockade and proof that the offices of Lieberman and King played a crucial part in ensuring the financial blockade was successful. To find out more about the banking blockade, click here. See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnuwKhLuuQw&sns=em.
Update… Yesterday, the German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung (WHS), which collected donations for WikiLeaks via PayPal, announced that after almost two years of negotiations with German tax authorities its tax exemption (charitable status) has been reinstated. Thus, citizens of all EU Member States can now donate to WikiLeaks through WHS and deduct the donation from their income tax.
To donate to WikiLeaks using a variety of methods/channels, click here.
D. Julia Gillard: defamation against Assange?
Through leaked documents we also learn that VISA and MasterCard have used a false (and possibly defamatory) statement by the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to mislead the European Commission. The Prime Minister’s statement, which she later claimed was made in her “private capacity”, was that the WikiLeaks publication of diplomatic cables was “illegal”. This was declared to be false by a subsequent investigation by the Australian Federal Police, which stated that WikiLeaks had not broken any Australian law. Earlier this year, the Australian Senate passed a resolution demanding the retraction of the Prime Minister’s false statement. Also, as part of its justification for claiming that the legal status of WikiLeaks was unresolved, Visa Europe cited the statement of then-attorney-general Robert McClelland in December 2010 about the release of the diplomatic cables that “you would have to assume that there is a reasonable case that the act of sourcing the information did involve illegal events”.
See also, below, the infamous 2007 Charge Sheet for Treason against Julia Gillard (brought by someone who was subsequently designated by the courts as a vexatious litigant):
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