Tuesday, December 07, 2010

MEDIA: WikiLeaks hysteria ...

This post will be a running tally of updates on WikiLeaks developments. I can't guarantee it will be updated regularly. If only I had the resources of Fairfax or News Limited!

UPDATE 1: Jeffrey T Kuhner, a writer for the Washington Times, a far-Right newspaper published by a Korean preacher, has called for WikiLeaks dude Julian Assange to be assassinated. He writes:

... we should treat Mr. Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets.

Yep, send him off to be tortured at Guantanamo. Clearly he is worse than the worst of the worst.

(Thanks to NB)

UPDATE 2: A bunch of (largely left-of-centre) academics, lawyers, journos and entertainers have signed an open letter to Julia Gillard regarding Julian Assange. Read it here.

UPDATE 3: Here's a discussion on the unusual offence Assange has been charged with under Swedish law. They call it "sex by surprise".

UPDATE 4: Here's another op-ed, this time from a newspaper that at times tries to emulate the other Washington newspaper owned by a Korean preacher I mentioned earlier. The headline reflects just how much George W Bush's imbecilic logic still pervades certain sectors of the American Right. Read this and try not to laugh:

Assange has threatened America with the cyber equivalent of thermonuclear war.

UPDATE 5: I am accustomed to hacking into Alexander Downer's record as foreign minister. Hence I always imagined he would be more stupidly pro-American than the ALP when it came to China. But The Age reports that Downer and Howard showed far more good sense on this issue.

... 2004 remarks by the then Howard government foreign affairs minister, Alexander Downer, that a conflict between America and China over Taiwan would not necessarily trigger Australia's obligations under the ANZUS treaty with the US. The ANZUS treaty, which came into force in 1952, commits Australia and the US to respond if the armed forces of the other party in the Pacific come under attack.

Mr Downer's comments - which he insisted were taken out of context - caused concern in Washington and prompted the then US ambassador Tom Schieffer to declare that America expected Australia's support in the event of conflict over Taiwan.

The then prime minister John Howard refused to comment publicly on what Australia would do if hostility broke out between the US and China, saying it was a hypothetical situation.

But what of Kim Beazley?

AUSTRALIA'S ambassador to the US and former opposition leader, Kim Beazley, assured American officials that Australia would always side with the US in the event of a war with China, a confidential diplomatic cable reveals.

Mr Beazley's remarks, made in a 2006 meeting with the then US ambassador Robert McCallum just months before Kevin Rudd replaced him as Labor leader, are significant because no Australian federal political leader has publicly disclosed what position they believe the nation should take if the US and China came to blows over Taiwan - an event that would present Australia's greatest foreign policy dilemma.

The cable, classified as confidential and not to be disclosed outside the US government, gave the following summary of Mr Beazley's comments: "In the event of a war between the United States and China, Australia would have absolutely no alternative but to line up militarily beside the US. Otherwise the alliance would be effectively dead and buried, something that Australia could never afford to see happen."

If the contents of this cable are correct, they show a troubling degree of political and foreign policy naivety. It also shows that our political establishment places the interests of a foreign power above those of our own nation.

UPDATE 6: While millions in his country were suffering after a massive cyclone and storm surge, the head of Burma's military junta wanted to spend $1 billion buying English football team Manchester United. We know about this because of WikiLeaks.

UPDATE 7: A report from AlJazeera English on WikiLeaks on Latin American leaders.

UPDATE 8: Julian Assange cites Rupert Murdoch in Rupert's own Australian flagship newspaper.

UPDATE 9: A Labor Right powerbroker revealed as one of numerous US Embassy contacts within the Labor Party.

UPDATE 10: Hopefully my credit card won't be affected by this revenge hacking.

UPDATE 11: Hilarious video.

Words © 2010 Irfan Yusuf

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