Oh My!

9 12 2010

Ferdinand Bardamu, one of my favorite bloggers, over at In Mala Fide, has published the home addresses and telephone numbers of Julian Assange’s accusers, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen. I will not repost this info, make any effort to verify its accuracy, or suggest that anyone use this info for any purpose. According to the comments, the fine folks at 4chan (aka b-tards) have become aware of this information. Understand that 4chan is probably home to those who’ve been launching retaliation cyber attacks against those who’ve wronged Wikileaks/Assange, such as Amazon.com and the government of Sweden.

Prepare to be entertained. Get some popcorn and have a seat.

Also, Ferdinand and The Spearhead are both reporting a massive increase in traffic over the past few days, apparently because people are looking for info on these women and the major media outlets aren’t publishing it. I must say, I’m experiencing this too. I’ve never seen traffic like this before. It’s pretty fucking amazing.

While I potentially have an unusually large audience, I’d like to draw your attention to what Joseph Lieberman is saying:

Julian Assange, an Australian, is guilty of treason against the United States for publishing leaked documents? I don’t usually bother spending energy on hating people, but I really fucking hate this guy.

BULLSHIT! – Julian Assange Behind Bars!

7 12 2010

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, is being held in London after turning himself in to face extradition to Sweden for total bullshit sex-crime charges. (Al Jazeera story) He was denied bail and has an extradition hearing on December 14. There’s a lot to this story, and I’ve mentioned it before. I’m a bit disgusted by this. It seems that the release of several thousand diplomatic “cables” has motivated the rulers of the world to put a stop to this man, and this is very sad.

  • November 28, 2010 – On the day that the site was planning to release some 250,000 US State Department cables, Wikileaks reported on twitter that the site was under a massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. The site was down for several hours. (link)
  • November 29, 2010 – Twitter user, th3j35t3r, claimed responsibility for the attack, that it was “for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops and other assets.” (link)
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2010 – Amazon.com announced that it would cease hosting Wikileak’s “cablegate” site that could be found at cablegate.wikileaks.org after being pressured by government assholes, including the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s committee on homeland security. (link) Fuck Joe Lieberman. I really hate that guy.
  • Thursday, December 2, 2010 – EveryDNS.net unlisted wikileaks.org, meaning that typing the address into a browser brings up the Wikileaks website, which can currently be found at ip address: and at wikileaks.ch/. EveryDNS.net cited threats to their infrastructure (from DDOS attacks)  as the reason for removing the listing and stated that they had no objection to the content. (link)
  • Saturday, December 4, 2010 – Paypal closed Wikileaks account, stating “our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.” Paypal was Wikileaks primary source of donations. (link)
  • Monday, December 6, 2010 – Julian Assange’s Swiss bank account was closed, reportedly because he had given false information, namely that he was a resident of Sweden. (link)
  • Monday, December 6, 2010 – Mastercard stopped allowing payments to Wikileaks. (link)
  • Monday, December 6, 2010 – A warrant was issued for the arrest of Julian Assange in Britain. (link)
  • Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – Visa followed suit and also stopped payments to the website. (link)
  • Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – Assange held and denied bail in London.

There are a lot of links for that last one. This article at the Daily Mail is a good source on how things got to be this way. Presumably in fear of Britain’s rape shield law, the identities of the accusers are not given. They are confusingly referred to as Sarah and Jessica. Sarah’s real name is Anna Ardin and Jessica’s real name is Sofia Wilen. In the following quote, the names have been corrected and bolded to implicate the guilty:

What happened next is difficult to explain. The most likely interpretation of events is that as a result of a one-night stand, one participant came to regret what had happened.

Sofia was worried she could have caught a sexual disease, or even be pregnant: and this is where the story takes an intriguing turn. She then decided to phone Anna — whom she had met at the seminar, and with whom Assange had been staying — and apparently confided to her that she’d had unprotected sex with him.

At that point, Anna said that she, too, had slept with him.

As a result of this conversation, Ms. Ardin reportedly phoned an acquaintance of Assange and said that she wanted him to leave her apartment. (He refused to do so, and maintains that she only asked him to leave three days later, on the Friday of that week.)

How must Anna have felt to discover that the man she’d taken to her bed three days before had already taken up with another woman? Furious? Jealous? Out for revenge? Perhaps she merely felt aggrieved for a fellow woman in distress.

Having taken stock of their options for a day or so, on Friday, August 20, Anna and Sofia took drastic action.

They went together to a Stockholm police station where they said they were seeking advice on how to proceed with a complaint by Ms. Wilen against Assange.

According to one source, Sofia wanted to know if it was possible to force Assange to undergo an HIV test. Anna Ardin, the seasoned feminist warrior, said she was there merely to support Sofia. But she also gave police an account of what had happened between herself and Assange a week before.

The message here is be careful who you fuck in Sweden, especially if you’re famous. I suppose if you’re not you can use a fake name and a throw-away phone.

Anna Ardin: 

Sofia Wilen: 

Much has been written on this story. There are people who think Ardin is an agent of some sort and even people who think that Assange is. I particularly like the perspective of Israel Shamir at Counterpunch, which I discovered via W.F. Price of The Spearhead:

Rape is a horrible crime, and it should not be stretched to encompass minor misdemeanors and moral failings (like the failure to give an encouraging phone call the next day). Tellingly, when the complainant’s advocate was asked why the young women were unsure whether they were raped, he replied: “They are not lawyers”.

That’s right, you gotta be a lawyer to know when you’ve been raped.

No Free Speech for Soldiers

7 07 2010

I spent four years in the US Army, and remember finding it more than curious that we were prohibited from speaking to the press without permission. I never really had an occasion to do this, as I was never involved in anything too terribly interesting. I got out well before our current wars began. Several years ago, I saw a news story where US Army Arabic linguist Sgt. Erik Saar, someone I once served with and knew personally, became a whistle-blower for Guantanamo Bay. I presume he was already out, at which point it’s legal to talk as long you’re not divulging classified information. The thing I remember from the story was that he was writing or had written a book about his experience and would have to wait for government approval for it to be published, to make sure it was free of classified information. This is what you get to deal with when you get a Top Secret security clearance. Until today, I hadn’t heard anything about him since, but it looks like his book was published in 2005. Saar didn’t like the interrogation methods he saw there, particularly in light of the fact that the bulk of the detainees where clueless men of no particular importance. My point isn’t to go on about Guantanamo interrogation methods, but simply to point out that he had to get permission to speak and that it’s possible that details had to be removed from his book before it could be published.

Fast-forward to 2007 when US forces in Iraq engaged and killed a group of men, some known Reuters reporters, with big cameras and no apparent weapons. In April of this year, video of this incident from one of the helicopters’ gun cameras was uploaded to Youtube by WikiLeaks and embeded on their website. This is that graphic video:

I found it very interesting that defenders of the military took two very different approaches in reacting to this video. The first and obvious reaction was to claim that this was an “isolated incident” (there is no such thing) and that it is not representative of the US military in Iraq. The second reaction, more popular among people who’ve actually served in Iraq, is to claim the opposite – that there’s really nothing controversial about what happened here – that these men had large devices that could’ve been weapons and you really can’t be too careful when your life may be in danger. One thing I would keep in mind when watching the video is that there are forces on the ground and another helicopter involved in the conversation. It’s possible that things occurred outside the view of the gun camera. Having said that, it’s a bit disturbing how quickly US soldiers decide to err on the side of caution, how they can look at cameras and see guns.

Now, fast-forward to a month ago when “hacker” Adrian Lamo turned in US Army Intel Analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning as the source of the video. Lamo claimed that Manning had leaked a great deal more classified material and that he felt that lives might be in danger, and that was the reason he turned Manning in. Whatever, everything this Lamo guy says is suspect. It could be that Lamo gave this guy up to keep himself out of trouble for something else or simply to keep in good standing with uncle sam. It could even be that the FBI or some other government agency leaned on him to find this information.

One month later and Manning is being held on eight charges for leaking the video.

Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, is being detained in Kuwait and faces charges on eight violations of the U.S. Criminal Code for allegedly illegally transferring classified data, according to a charge sheet released by the military.

It accuses Manning of “wrongfully introducing a classified video of a military operation filmed at or near Baghdad, Iraq, on or about 12 July 2007, onto his personal computer, a non-secure information system.”

Of course, his actual crime is making the US look bad, not via libel or slander, but via the truth. I find it indefensible to maintain that such information remain classified. It helps the Army’s case to charge him with a violation of Information Security occurring so soon after the incident.

The military said it detained Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst deployed with the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade, in June. The website Wired.com identified Manning as the one who had leaked the video of the helicopter assault.

Wired.com reported that Manning confessed to the leak in a series of online chats with a former computer hacker. He allegedly owned up to leaking other items to WikiLeaks, including the classified Army document assessing the threat level of the website, as well as State Department cables, according to the article.

I can’t begin to understand why Wired.com would throw this kid under the bus. Are they afraid of the big bad government? Do they hate whistle-blowers? At this point, I trust neither Adrian Lamo nor Wired.com.

I’m of the opinion that free speech is for everyone and that the leaking of classified information ought not be a crime if it turns out to be of no immediate consequence. Loose lips sink ships, except all those times when they don’t.