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Serious Questions About Wikileaks’ Release of Purported Guantanamo SOP

5:17 pm in Military, Torture by Jeff Kaye

On October 25, 2012, Wikileaks began to release what they indicated would be “more than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the United States Department of Defense covering the rules and procedures for detainees in U.S. military custody.” They labeled the release “The Detainee Policies.”

One of the first documents released was of the purported 2002 Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). According to the accompanying press release, this was “the foundation document for Guantanamo Bay (‘Camp Delta’).” Julian Assange is quoted in the press release as saying, “This document is of significant historical importance…. how is it that WikiLeaks has now published three years of Guantanamo Bay operating procedures, but the rest of the world’s press combined has published none?”

Assange, who has been fighting extradition to Sweden, and currently resides under asylum protection at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, also challenged the press and the public to read and analyze the documents. “Publicize your findings,” he asked.

But over three months later, there has been essentially zero analysis. Even though the Wikileaks “Detainee Policies” release had extensive world-wide coverage in the press and blogosphere, outside of a few tweets, there’s been practically no follow-up investigation of these documents.

The non-coverage after the initial release is in itself astounding, but even more surprising is the fact that when examined some of the documents appear to be problematic and of doubtful provenance. (In addition, strangely, the documents do not allow cut and paste commands to accurately reproduce text, which is not typical of Wikileaks documents.)

Sadly – since a good deal of reporters, myself included, have come to rely on the accuracy of what Wikileaks has posted over the years – an examination of the Camp Delta 2002 SOP raises serious reasons as to whether it is a reliable document. At best it is a very corrupted draft of an authentic document. At worst, it is a sloppy forgery.

In addition, there are further questions about other documents released as part of “The Detainee Policies,” as well questions as to whether Wikileaks personnel understood the material they were releasing. In the past, Wikileaks has used the resources of major media like the New York Times, the UK Guardian, El Pais, etc., and independent authoritative analysts, like Andy Worthington, for outside analytic assistance.

Wikileaks has been under significant economic and legal pressure from the US government and its corporate and other governmental allies, and it is no secret that the organization operates under serious constraints as a result. According to the organization, “An extrajudicial blockade imposed by VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank of America, and Western Union that is designed to destroy WikiLeaks has been in place since December 2010.”

Whatever Wikileaks has accomplished in other document releases and analysis, the failure to accurately report or vet the “Detainee Policies” documents, by either Wikileaks or the world press and blogging community, calls into dire question the accuracy of a good deal of what passes for reporting by media outlets and commentators.

The only expert I could find who had anything to say about the Camp Delta SOP document was Almerindo Ojeda, who posted a link to the purported “Standing [sic] Operating Procedures” at the website for the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA), along with his caveats on the document. Ojeda’s own independent analysis largely concurred with my own.

What Did Wikileaks Release?

We cannot know the source of the documents Wikileaks released. So any analysis of the documents must rely on a close textual perusal of the documents themselves. And thanks to Wikileaks, who released the 2003 and 2004 Camp Delta SOPs a few years ago, we can contrast and compare very similar documents.

The “2002” Camp Delta SOP does not look like other DoD documents of this type. It has no markings regarding its classification status, for instance. The formatting is often erratic, with whole paragraphs published with centered rather than justified or left aligned text. There is a good deal of missing, mispaginated, and misordered text. A number of pages begin with text that does not follow logically from the preceding page.

There’s no doubt we are not looking at the SOP itself, even if we were to grant it was a genuine document. The Wikileaks document is not presented in the discrete pages of an actual document, but as a long running text document, as if from a word processor, with headings within the text indicating what page number out of 48 supposed pages a given block of text represents.

In addition, the page headers do not appear at the top or bottom of actual pages, but are interspersed within the text. The text itself does not go beyond “Page 47 of 48″. The Wikileaks description of the document itself at the home page for the “Detention Poliicies” states that the document has 33 pages.

What Wikileaks calls the “Main [2002] SOP for Camp Delta, Guantanamo” states on its first page that it is a revision dated November 11, 2002. The subsequent SOP for Camp Delta is dated March 23, 2003, approximately five and one-half months later. That SOP, according to its text, was “reorganized” from the previous SOP, so it could consolidate “all aspects of detention and security operations” so the SOP could be “more efficient for its intended users.”

Indeed, the new Wikileaks release of the purported 2002 Camp Delta SOP refers to separate SOPs for relating to detainee matters in relation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as one for the “Use of IRF”. IRF refers to “Internal Reaction Force,” which according to this latest Wikileaks release is a 24 hour force available for “possible emergency response situations.” Over the years, the IRF teams have been implicated in brutal beatings of prisoners and violent cell extractions.

The Wikileaks press release for the Detention Policies states, “The ’Detainee Policies’ provide a more complete understanding of the instructions given to captors as well as the ’rights’ afforded to detainees.” It also asks “lawyers, NGOs, human rights activists and the public to mine the ’Detainee Policies’” and “to research and compare the different generations of SOPs and FRAGOs to help us better understand the evolution in these policies and why they have occurred.”

Unfortunately, at least in the case of the purported 2002 Camp Delta SOP, it is unclear just what this document represents. Was it a faulty reconstruction of the original document, a draft of the SOP, a forgery based on some knowledge of the material? We can’t know.

Another problem with the initial analysis by Wikileaks concerns unfamiliarity with the larger world of relevant documents on interrogation. For instance, in their press release, Wikileaks touts one document as revealing “a formal policy of terrorising detainees during interrogations.” This 13-page interrogation policy document from 2005 describes interrogation policies “that apply to… all personnel in the Multi-National Force–Iraq (MNF–I). Wikileaks points out as examples of “exploitative techniques” the use of “‘approved’ ‘interrogation approaches’” such as “Emotional Love Approach” and “Fear Up (Harsh).”

While it is interesting to see that these interrogation techniques were applicable to the MNF-I, they are not, as the press release implies, new or unique “interrogation approaches,” but are drawn from the Army Field Manual (AFM) for Intelligence Interrogation in use at that time. That particular version of the AFM came out in 1992. The two “approaches” remain in the current AMF as well, which was significantly updated in September 2006.

While Wikileaks may be wrong about the significance of discovering the use of Fear Up and other problematic techniques, the organization is correct that these are abusive techniques. In fact, such techniques in use by the Department of Defense’s interrogation manual only got worse after it was updated, with the addition of techniques of sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation that were not allowed in the earlier AFM, nor indeed, in the MNF-I document Wikileaks released. They are, however, allowed by the current Obama administration.

Wikileaks Responds

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Confirmed: Lamo to Manning, “Treat this as a confession” or journalist interview

2:55 pm in Military by Jeff Kaye

Wired Magazine, for reasons of its own that I’m not sure I believe, has suddenly decided to post the full text of the Bradley Manning-Adrian Lamo chat logs. I’m sure that many people will find much to mull over. (Kevin Gosztola also has a posting up at MyFDL examining more about what can be gleaned from the release at last of the entire logs: Wired Magazine Finally Releases Entire Manning-Lamo Chat Logs: What’s Revealed?) One thing that stands out immediately, because it occurs very early on in the chat logs, is Adrian Lamo’s assertion to Bradley Manning that he is both a journalist and a minister, and that their conversations are legally protected.

In the quotes following, “bradass87″ is Bradley Manning and “info@adrianlamo.com” is Adrian Lamo:

(10:21:34 AM) bradass87: im fairly open… but careful, so yes..

(10:22:00 AM) bradass87: im aware of your bi part

(10:22:24 AM) bradass87: uhm, trying to keep a low profile for now though, just a warning

(10:23:34 AM) info@adrianlamo.com: I’m a journalist and a minister. You can pick either, and treat this as a confession or an interview (never to be published) & enjoy a modicum of legal protection.

This is not totally new information, but it does corroborate a report made by Glenn Greenwald on June 18, 2010, and something Lamo told Jonathan Fildes at BBC ten days earlier.

From Greenwald’s article:

If one assumes that this happened as the Wired version claims, what Lamo did here is despicable.  He holds himself out as an “award-winning journalist” and told Manning he was one (“I did tell him that I worked as a journalist,” Lamo said).  Indeed, Lamo told me (though it doesn’t appear in the chat logs published by Wired) that he told Manning early on that he was a journalist and thus could offer him confidentiality for everything they discussed under California’s shield law.  Lamo also said he told Manning that he was an ordained minister and could treat Manning’s talk as a confession, which would then compel Lamo under the law to keep their discussions confidential (early on in their chats, Manning said:  ”I can’t believe what I’m confessing to you”).  In sum, Lamo explicitly led Manning to believe he could trust him and that their discussions would be confidential — perhaps legally required to be kept confidential — only to then report everything Manning said to the Government.

According to the BBC story:

[Lamo] also said that he was not approached by Mr Manning as a journalist.

“I was a private citizen in a private capacity – there was no source, journalist relationship,” he told BBC News.

“I did tell him that I worked as a journalist. I would have been happy to write about him myself, but we just decided that it would be too unethical.”

BoingBoing also posted a version of the logs posted first by Wired, as did the Washington Post; FDL posted a merged version of all the previously posted logs. None of these had posted the portions of the log cited at the beginning of this article, which obviously had been withheld by Wired, who certainly had the full logs all along. One must assume the Feds had this material as well, yet they tortured Manning by holding him for months in solitary confinement and sexually humiliating him via forced nudity, even though they knew he had issues around sexual gender and being bullied by others because of sexuality.

Rob Beschizza at BoingBoing commented this afternoon, upon the release of the logs, “It reads like a deliberated attempt to manipulate or even entrap Manning, on Lamo’s part, and seems quite important to understanding what Manning thought he was doing by talking to him.”

Indeed, it does read exactly like that. In the logs, Manning himself seems to realize how his own desperation has led him to seek someone out. Such a situation only highlights the dubiety of the operation utilized to get to Manning. I’m no attorney, and I’ll leave it to other legal types to ascertain to what degree this damages the government’s case, if indeed there ever had much of a case, against Bradley Manning.

Torture & the Art of the Gratuitous Lie: Dissecting Rumsfeld & Thiessen’s Wild Whoppers

1:56 pm in Torture by Jeff Kaye

As if we already didn’t know the media is full of lies and stupidity, two new examples have surfaced in recent days, with former administration officials and their media mouthpieces vying for who can pronounce the most incredible lies about the torture policies of the U.S. government. What’s even more amazing is that one ostensibly progressive website and its members have taken at least one of these lies as good coin, a lie so blatant that it only takes a moment’s reflection to realize it’s total BS.

First, though, precedence should be given to the op-ed by Donald Rumsfeld in last Thursday’s Washington Post. Titled “How WikiLeaks vindicated Bush’s anti-terrorism strategy,” the former Secretary of Defense — who was the Bush administration official who authorized aggressive torture techniques based on SERE torture resistance training for use in DoD interrogations, a fact the Washington Post forgot to mention in its brief bio on Rumsfeld — manages to dredge up every falsehood and canard spewed out by the government to justify the torture they used, from Al Qaeda’s purported threats to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” if Bin Laden was captured, to the supposed “dirty” bomb plot (dreamed up from “confessions” made under torture by Binyam Mohamed, who had looked at a joke website on nuclear bombs online, and was originally a charge against Jose Padilla, later dropped because it would have been laughed out of even Bush’s courts).

But the oddest lie, gratuitously thrown in, concerns Rumsfeld’s claims about what the Wikileaks documents allegedly reveal about the purported “suicides” of three Guantanamo prisoners in June 2006. Readers might remember the Scott Horton article in Harper’s Magazine back in January 2010, “The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle.” (Horton’s article produced an upset of sorts at the National Magazine Awards last week, winning the “Reporting” award, beating out Michael Hasting’s Rolling Stone article on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and Jane Mayer’s New Yorker exposé on the Koch brothers. — Congrats, Scott!)

While Horton’s article laid out compelling evidence of a cover-up over the possible killings of these three detainees, one of whom had already been cleared for release and return to Saudi Arabia only weeks prior to his death, Rumsfeld claims that the recent Wikileaks release of Guantanamo documents (Detainee Assessment Briefs, or DABs) provide evidence backing the government’s contention the three prisoners committed simultaneous suicide.

The documents should also disprove some myths that have dogged Guantanamo and the reputations of those who honorably serve there. The classified record, for example, confirms that three detainees who died in 2006 were suicides — not, as some have irresponsibly alleged, victims of brutal interrogations.

Yet nowhere in the Wikileaks documents, and nowhere in the DABs for Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, or Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani — the three men who died — is there any evidence or claim that their deaths were suicides. Nowhere in these documents is there even a discussion of these suicides, so it is very odd that Rumsfeld, who was sued by the parents of two of the deceased prisoners, should even bring up this story. In Horton’s article, it’s noted that Rumsfeld might have put the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in charge of a secret interrogation black site at Guantanamo, called unofficially Camp No by some Gitmo personnel, where the three men were seen taken by guards on duty that night. Rumsfeld has never spoken out on the “suicides” before. I wonder what he’s trying to preempt.

For a thorough demolition of Rumsfeld’s lies, readers may wish to peruse former Col. Larry Wilkerson’s declaration under oath “that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld all knew — and didn’t care — that ‘the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent.’”

Marc Thiessen’s Theater of the Absurd

Even more gratuitous, and a lie easily disprovable on its face, is the recent assertion, as reported by the overly-creduous Josh Gerstein at Politico, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed “figured out” how to outlast his 183 waterboardings by CIA torturers (bold emphasis added).

“He figured out the limits,” Marc Theissen, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, said during a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. KSM “actually mocked his interrogators by holding out his arm and counting off the seconds with his hand. He knew exactly how far we could go and when the terrorists know how far you can go it’s very very hard to break them.”

Aside from the ridiculous, if not scandalous assertions about the efficacy of torture — a crime considered “jus cogens,” a crime against humanity, and a war crime outlawed by U.S. treaties — the idea of KSM “holding out his arm to count off the seconds with his hand” would be amazing… if it weren’t that his arms and legs were strapped down to a gurney!

Such a blatant lie should have been caught by Gerstein, or by the naive diarist that posted the story over at Daily Kos, winning a spot on the “recommended” list, even though the diarist and many of the commenters there took Theissen’s mendacious fiction to be fact.  It wouldn’t take more than a few minutes on Google to find this description from the 2002 Office of Legal Counsel memo by Jay Bybee and John Yoo (bold emphasis added): “In this procedure, the individual is bound securely to an inclined bench, which is approximately four feet by seven feet. The individual’s feet are generally elevated. A cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes. Water is then applied to the cloth in a controlled manner.

Additionally, one could go to the horse’s mouth, so to speak, and read the CIA’s own guidelines from its Office of Medical Services (OMS) (PDF). Except for the manner in which breathing was obstructed in the prisoner (as discussed in the CIA IG report on the torture program – PDF), the CIA’s waterboarding followed the SERE model, in which, OMS noted (bold emphasis added), “the subject is immobilized on his back, and his forehead and eyes covered with a cloth.”

The idea that frustrated CIA torturers were repeatedly waterboarding KSM as he stubbornly held up his arm and hand to count off the seconds of torture is ridiculously absurd, not least because it was physically impossible. What the CIA medical personnel did have to report about the waterboarding showed that some resistance was, in their opinion, possible: “While SERE trainers believe that trainees are unable to maintain psychological resistance to the waterboard, our experience was otherwise. Some subjects [KSM?] unquestionably can withstand a large number of applications, with no immediately discernable [sic] cumulative impact beyond their strong aversion to the experience.”

Now, the CIA is no more believable than their mouthpiece, Marc Theissen, but it’s notable that even for the unnamed detainee or detainees who supposedly could “withstand a large number of applications,” the torture produced a “strong aversion.” What the words “withstand” or “aversion” even mean when issuing from the offices of the CIA, I’m not even sure anymore. But it certainly is far different than the picture of an obstreperous KSM that Thiessen provides in order to show that Al Qaeda had learned how to “resist” even a technique as powerful as the waterboard. That this says nothing about the legality or logic of using such torture is an example of how an implicit and dangerous lie is hidden within the blatant outer husk of an absurd lie, i.e., that U.S. torture was not harmful.

As for waterboarding, the fact that SERE training had largely banned waterboarding as too dangerous for their trainees, and the fact that government lawyers hid that fact in the memos they wrote to approve Bush’s “enhanced interrogation program,” was revealed in a series of exclusive articles I wrote here at Firedoglake last year (see here and here).

News and Analysis You Can Count On — Become a FDL Member Today

No matter what news source you like, you’re not going to find truth-telling and analysis on issues like torture as often as you will at Firedoglake. FDL has initiated a membership program to help put this great site on a firmer financial basis, free from corporate influence or subservience to the mainstream media. If you’re reading this, you already know that in-depth reporting and analysis by Marcy Wheeler, Jane Hamsher, David Dayen, Jon Walker, and many others is an everyday occurrence here. And then there are the movie discussions, the Book Salon every weekend, with important and relevant authors interacting with our readers, webinars for FDL members, and more.

When you can be an FDL member for as little as $5 or $10 per month, you’re doing yourself a favor by signing up right now. It will be the best few dollars you’ll have spent recently, and you’ll become part of a thriving and growing online community.

Important Files Missing in WikiLeaks Guantanamo Release

11:02 am in Military, Torture by Jeff Kaye

File Cabinet for sale $130

File Cabinet for sale $130 by sgroi, on Flickr

Important detainee files are missing in the Guantanamo files released by Wikileaks. There appear to be sixteen missing files, one of which is mislabeled in the database. The mislabeled file concerns a “Detainee Assessment Brief” for Abdurahman Khadr, the brother of Omar Khadr and an admitted “asset” for the CIA, who once described how he was sent to Guantanamo as a fake prisoner to spy.

The other missing files are suspicious, not least because of who these men were, or the stories behind their capture or subsequent fate.

The missing men include Yaser Hamdi (called Himdy Yasser in the database), ISN 009, who was an American citizen labeled an “illegal enemy combatant,” and like U.S. citizen Jose Padilla (who never was at Guantanamo), was sent from Guantanamo to the Navy Brig at Charleston, South Carolina, where he endured terrible isolation and sensory deprivation. His habeas case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which issued a landmark ruling, Hamdi v Rumsfeld, limiting executive rights in regards to incarcerating prisoners without a hearing. Hamdi was later forced to renounce his U.S. citizenship and sent to Saudi Arabia.

Also missing is the file for “high-value” detainee Muhammad Rahim, held by the CIA and only sent to Guantanamo in March 2008, making him a quite late arrival. His ISN, 10030, is not even listed on the Wikileaks database. Another late arrival is also missing. Inayatullah was sent to Guantanamo in August 2007, after having been captured in Afghanistan and, according to press coverage quoting the Defense Department, admitting that he was a leader of al-Qaeda in Zahedan, Iran.
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Rendition Victim Mamdouh Habib Sues Omar Suleiman for Torture

7:56 am in Uncategorized by Jeff Kaye

The other day I wrote about the fight back by former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks regarding the lies told about him by the Detainee Assessment Brief released as part of large and ongoing document leak by Wikileaks. Another Australian also previously incarcerated at Guantanamo, and even more horrifically tortured, if that’s possible, by the U.S. and its allies, has filed suit in an Egyptian court against his tormenter, former Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, who for 15 years or more was chief of intelligence in that country. Habib’s JTF-GTMO summary is also available at the Wikileaks site.

The summary states that Habib admitted “under extreme duress” various terrorist activities and knowledge while under interrogation in Egypt, where he was sent via the U.S. program of “extraordinary rendition.” Habib recanted these confessions once at Guantanamo. This didn’t keep intelligence officials of labeling him as of “high” intelligence value, maintaining that Habib had knowledge of Al Qaeda financing, safe houses, training and tactics, operations in Thailand and Singapore, along with associations with the 9/11 German terrorist cell. All of these were lies, induced by torture.

While Mr. Habib has not released a fact sheet to answer these charges, he has been aggressively pursuing a redress for the lies and crimes done to him. His lawsuit against the powerful Suleiman, who until recently was fully supported by the Obama administration during the Egyptian uprising, goes along with articles, speaking engagements, and his own book on his life and treatment in the U.S. gulag, My Story: the Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t. Mubarak’s son, Gamal, is also named in the suit.

Habib has now spoken out on the claims cited in his Guantanamo assessment brief, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Referring to claims that he was planning the hijacking of a Quantas airplane, and other assertions in the Guantanamo document, the ABC article says:

Mr Habib, who was released from Guantanamo Bay without charge in 2005, says it is possible he admitted to things he did not do because Egyptian interrogators drugged him.

But he says he would not have said he was going to hijack a Qantas plane, because it is not true and he was being set up.

“Maybe some stuff happened by me under drugs, I’m not aware of it, to be honest,” he said.

“But as to a wake up person, I’m talking as very awake and I know, I’m knowledge, what’s going on, I never admit to anything, no.”

What follows is a little from Habib’s book, from the section where he was tortured by Suleiman:

He [Suleiman] continued, ‘If you tell us you knew about the attacks on the Trade Center on September 11th — that you were involved and that you were planning further attacks when you were picked up — if you tell us this, we can sell this information to the Americans for 10 million dollars. We’ll give you 4 million and we’ll keep the rest. You will then be under a witness-protection program…’

At this time, all I knew was that the World Trade Center in New York had been hit, but I had no idea about the other hit on the Pentagon and the failed hit on the White House. I had no idea of the immensity of 9/11…

I was sitting in a chair, hooded, with my hands handcuffed behind my back. He came up to me. His voice was deep and rough. He spoke to me in Egyptian and English. He said, ‘Listen, you don’t know who I am, but I am the one who has your life in his hands. Every singles person in this building has his life in my hands. I just make the decision.’

I said, ‘I hope your decision is that you make me die straight away.’

‘No, I don’t want you to die now. I want you to die slowly.’ He went on, ‘I can’t stay with you; my time is too valuable to stay here. You only have me to save you. I’m your saviour. You have to tell me everything, if your want to be saved. What do you say?’

‘I have nothing to tell you’….

Then they took me to another room, where they tortured me relentlessly, stripping me naked and applying electric shocks everywhere on my body. The next thing I remember was seeing the general again. He came into a room with a man from Turkistan; he was a big man but was stopped over, because his hands were chained to the shackles of his feet, preventing him from standing upright.

‘This guy is no use to us anymore. This is what is going to happen to you. We’ve had him for one hour, and this is what happens.

Suddenly, a guy they called Hanish, which means snake, came at the poor man from behind and gave him a terrible karate kick that sent him crashing across the room. A guard went over to shake him, but he didn’t respond. Turning to the general, the guard said, ‘Basha, I think he’s dead.’

‘Throw him away then. Let the dogs have him.’

They dragged the dead man out. [pp. 111-114]

Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Fights Back Against Gitmo Lies in New Wikileaks Release

9:48 am in Military, Torture by Jeff Kaye

The new release of Guantánamo documents from Wikileaks is a veritable Sargasso Sea of lies, half-truths, undigested intel, and tortured “evidence.” I do not cheer this particular release, as the energy it will take to set the record straight will be mammoth, and most of the detainees have no one in their corner to rescue the truth from U.S. government lies. One who has been fighting for years to tell the truth about the Guantánamo detainees is Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, and I was heartened to see that Wikileaks made him the sole “partner” in their media release of the records.

A former prisoner who has been trying to get his story out is former Guantánamo internee David Hicks. Released as part of deal to plead guilty in the military commissions trials, Hicks has returned to his native Australia to heal from the years of torture he endured at the U.S. Naval Base prison. He has written a book on his experiences, but no publisher has seen fit to release it in the United States. So unless one wishes to purchase and ship it from Australia, you will have to make do with the excellent interview of Hicks by Jason Leopold at Truthout earlier this year.

After the release of Wikileaks Guantánamo Files Detainee Assessment Brief on Hicks, a group that is working to support him and clear his name released a statement last night. In the name of clarifying the lies retailed by JTF Guantánamo personnel, I’m going to post most of their document, as a matter of public record, and to give readers an opportunity to see how poisoned the Guantánamo “record” is on these prisoners.

The Hicks assessment file from Guantánamo is dated September 17, 2004. He was released from Guantanamo in May 2007, having pleaded guilty to the U.S. favorite all-purpose charge of providing “material support for terrorism.” In the Guantánamo document, Hicks is portrayed as having “direct involvement with senior Al-Qaida leadership, including Usama Bin Laden.” He is portrayed as “a highly skilled and advanced combatant, as well as a valuable asset and possible leader for extremist organizations.”

Here is the response from the Hicks camp:

The file released on the Wikileaks website only confirms the inaccuracy of information that has been released by the former U.S. administration to the public in relation to David Hicks. The incompetence of the interrogators to obtain reliable and factual information is clear – they failed get Mr Hicks’ name correct, where he was captured, or the name of their own Navy ship – even when utilising interrogation techniques tantamount to torture. Much of the inaccuracies in the file have been addressed in Mr Hicks’ book, however, following is a list for your convenience.

➢ David Hicks’ middle name is Matthew, not Michael
➢ Jama’at Al Tablighi is a peaceful Islamic organisation – this has long been confirmed
➢ Mr Hicks has at no time flown to East Timor – to engage in hostilities, or otherwise
➢ LeT ["the Pakistan-based Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba"] was not listed as a terrorist organisation until 2002, long after Mr Hicks had been detained. The report confirms that no member of LeT had engaged in a terrorist act- they allege an intention, which there is no evidence of. As Mr Hicks explains in his book, LeT dissolved after 2001. The group that calls themselves LeT now is not the same group as it was over a decade ago as it is made up of different people.
➢ Allegations of meeting senior al-Qaeda leadership – Mr Hicks explains in his book that did not hear the word al-Qaeda until he reached Guantanamo Bay – and this was from the mouth of an interrogator. Mr Hicks has not met any people by the names of Abu-Hufs or Mohammed Atef, and the U.S. has not provided any evidence of this.
➢ Mr Hicks did not go to Bagram at all – Mr Hicks was captured by the Northern Alliance at a Taxi stand in Baglan on his way back to Australia. He was then sold to the U.S. for approximately US$5000.
➢ There is no such ship as the Pettiloo – Mr Hicks was transferred to two U.S. Navy ships, the U.S.S. Bataan and the U.S.S Peleliu- what they failed to mention in this report was the 10 hour beatings inflicted on Mr Hicks and the other detainees, and the photos depicting Hicks naked with a bleeding wound on his head due to having his head rammed into the tarmac several times.
➢ As for the report stating that Mr Hicks ‘admitted’ to being a member of al-Qaeda – Any and all statements were obtained under torture, this is why he was not taken through a regularly constituted court. In the final Military Commissions hearing, David’s legal team submitted what is called the Alford Plea. This is a US based plea in which an accused person can agree to plead guilty whilst maintaining innocence. David has always maintained his innocence and strongly denies that he was involved with any terrorist organisations- he did what he had to do to come home.
➢ The report alleges that Mr Hicks led in prayer and was held in high regard by other Guantanamo detainees – Mr Hicks cannot speak Arabic, and his knowledge of the religion would not qualify him to lead prayer. Some detainees thought that Mr Hicks was a spy, so any allegation that he was a leader is simply outrageous.
➢ Any allegation that Mr Hicks was unruly or created disturbances is simply untrue. Former Guantanamo bay guard, Brandon Neely who was on the ground with Mr Hicks has confirmed this recently (link below).
➢ As documents have revealed, detainees were forced to take medication and David was injected in the spine (see link)
➢ All charges that they quote in the document and the Military Commissions process were ruled as unconstitutional and illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court. Even the final Military Commissions Act of 2006 has been replaced by President Obama due to the unfairness of the system, and the fact that it did not establish a legitimate legal framework.
➢ The report alleges that if Mr Hicks is released, he would be a threat to the U.S. and its allies – Mr Hicks has been a free member of society for over three years, and has proven this to be completely false.

Mr Hicks has never been accused of hurting anyone, participating in, supporting, preparing for or knowing of a terrorist act. The final charge in the Military Commissions hearing was one count under the material support for terrorism charge- which was foreign to Australian and international law- that did not accuse him of personally supporting terrorism, rather, it was alleged that he supported an organisation that supported terrorism. Of note is the fact that it has never been proven that the camps he attended were in fact al-Qaeda. Mr Hicks has never gone through a fair trial process.

This document shows that even back in 2004, Mr Hicks was not suspected and/or accused of hurting any person, or involved in any terrorist acts. The Australian government has always maintained that Mr Hicks has not broken any Australian Law.

One hopes the rest of the Guantánamo detainees get such a chance to respond, and we owe a debt of gratitude to David Hicks’ supporters for showing just how mendacious and unreliable these reports out of Guantánamo are. I’ll note in passing that the Australian group also presents as evidence of forced medication an article by Jason Leopold and I on the administration of treatment doses of the controversial antimalarial drug mefloquine on all incoming detainees at Guantánamo, from January 2002 onward.

The U.S. Government Responds

Former Guantánamo guard Brandon Neely, who knew David Hicks personally, told me today that “If you didn’t know about Gitmo, and looked at these files, you’d think everyone was guilty.” And that is precisely the point about the summaries being released. They are prosecution amalgams of assorted “facts,” many of them obtained under torture, for the purpose of justifying the unjustifiable incarceration of hundreds of innocent men. If there are terrorists or criminals in this bunch, and no doubt there are some, the case against them is irrevocably soiled both for standard judicial proceedings (hence the turn to kangaroo court military commissions), and in the eyes of history.

The Defense Department and State Department have put out a joint press release of their own, stating that the Guantánamo Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) were “obtained illegally” by Wikileaks, and that they “were written based on a range of information available” between 2002 and 2009.

The Guantanamo Review Task Force, established in January 2009, considered the DABs during its review of detainee information. In some cases, the Task Force came to the same conclusions as the DABs. In other instances the Review Task Force came to different conclusions, based on updated or other available information. The assessments of the Guantanamo Review Task Force have not been compromised to WikiLeaks. Thus, any given DAB illegally obtained and released by WikiLeaks may or may not represent the current view of a given detainee.

The press release concludes that the U.S. government “will continue to work with allies and partners around the world to mitigate threats to the U.S. and other countries and to work toward the ultimate closure of the Guantanamo detention facility, consistent with good security practices and our values as a nation.”

The mendaciousness of this statement cannot be overemphasized. In fact, the U.S. has given up on its attempts to close Guantánamo, and there is to be no accounting for the torture done in its “work with allies and partners around the world,” nor for the torture and mistreatment meted out by the CIA and Department of Defense. The ACLU has written in a press release today that the Wikileaks document release “underscores the need for independent judicial review of the cases of men being held at Guantánamo.”

Perhaps if nothing else, the Wikileaks release will put the lies and crimes of the U.S. government back into the headlines for a time, and the issue of investigations and prosecutions for crimes of torture and murder will again touch the public mind. If only this time, something at long last would be done to address these crimes.

For more on the Wikileaks release, Marcy Wheeler is dissecting their strange concatenation of lies over at Emptywheel. ProPublica has also posted a review of some other ways in which the public record on Guantánamo and the CIA black sites is being distorted and rewritten.

I’ve written an article now posted at Truthout that looks at an otherwise little commented-upon aspect of the Wikileaks document release: Guantanamo Detainee Reports Hint at Psychological Research, Production of False Intel and Informing as “Areas of Potential Exploitation”.

Update, 5/16/11: The group of Hicks’s supporters campaigning for “an independent investigation into the David Hicks case, with special consideration given to allegations of torture and the political interference associated with his eventual plea deal,” have a website, The Justice Campaign. The group was formed by The Hon John Dowd AO QC, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Australia.

Bradley Manning Forced to Strip Naked for Seven Hours

3:43 pm in Military, Torture by Jeff Kaye

With all the news about the new charges brought against alleged Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning, the fact of his abusive treatment under onerous Maximum Security and Prevention of Injury (POI) conditions of confinement don’t get enough attention in the mainstream press. Perhaps the latest revelations by Manning’s attorney, David E. Coombs, will make America stand up and take notice.

Besides conditions of solitary confinement, harassment day and night, restriction of reading material, making him walk in shackles if he leaves his cell, inability to communicate with any other prisoners, we must now add degradation and humiliation. Do we need to be reminded that Bradley Manning has not been convicted of any crime?

From Coomb’s report this afternoon:

Last night, PFC Manning was inexplicably stripped of all clothing by the Quantico Brig. He remained in his cell, naked, for the next seven hours. At 5:00 a.m., the Brig sounded the wake-up call for the detainees. At this point, PFC Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell.

The Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS) arrived shortly after 5:00 a.m. When he arrived, PFC Manning was called to attention. The DBS walked through the facility to conduct his detainee count. Afterwards, PFC Manning was told to sit on his bed. About ten minutes later, a guard came to his cell to return his clothing.

As Manning’s attorney says, this kind of treatment is “degrading… inexcusable and without justification.” It comes on top of the imposition of isolation, cynically imposed in the name of protecting the young private, when in fact, it is fashioned to torture him, or at least impose cruel, inhumane treatment, both of which are violations of torture law and treaties.

Manning’s attorney noted that in a Department of Defense news conference the other day, DoD spokesman Geoff Morrell agreed that PFC Manning “has been exemplary in terms of his behavior on the cell block,” leading Mr. Coombs to comment: “Other detainees typically are removed from Maximum custody and from POI watch once they demonstrate, through their behavior, that the conditions are no longer warranted. Under Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST) 1649.9C, Maximum custody and POI are intended to be used sparingly and for a limited duration of time. Despite the Navy Instruction, PFC Manning remains subject to unduly harsh confinement conditions.”

The latest manifestation of the Pentagon’s animus against Manning is the use of degrading and humiliating treatment. Forced nakedness is exactly the kind of treatment meted out in the torture techniques approved by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and used at Guantanamo, and by the CIA in their black site prisons. We can see now that in their impeccable power, the U.S. government feels it must strip a young accused person totally in their power and leave them naked in their cell for hours. For what purpose? It can only be to demonstrate their power and to psychologically attempt to break down the prisoner.

This latest atrocity should be strongly condemned by all proponents of human rights and justice. This is cruel treatment. It should stop, and Manning should immediately be taken off POI, at the very least. But then, to any thinking person, it makes no sense that Manning is in prison, while the war criminals that killed tens or hundreds of thousands in Iraq, and gave military orders to ignore torture and turn prisoners over to be tortured, walk free.

Update: Alert commenter Mad Dog noticed this important part of David Coombs’ article, chilling in its open avowal of continuing abuse. Referring to the imposition of forced nakedness, Coombs reports that “PFC Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight.” Meanwhile, Trudy B. has sent me a link to a Kate Zernike and David Rohde’s June 2004 piece in the New York Times, on the “pervasive pattern” of forced nakedness at Abu Ghraib, at Guantanamo and elsewhere.

It got so bad at Abu Ghraib that in October 2003, Zernike and Rohde wrote that “Red Cross monitors were so alarmed by the number of nude detainees that they halted their visit and demanded an immediate explanation. ‘The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was “part of the process,”‘ the Red Cross wrote in a report in February.”

I guess that’s the case now at Quantico. “Part of the process” is what torture has now come down to, embraced on U.S. soil against an American citizen. Those wanting to do something can contribute to The Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund. 100% of contributions to this fund will be used to pay expenses related to the advocacy and defense of Bradley Manning.

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Psychologist Organization Protests to Gates on Bradley Manning’s Solitary Confinement

12:17 pm in Military, Torture by Jeff Kaye

Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), a non-profit organization of psychologists committed to social change and social justice, has written a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, protesting “the needless brutality of the conditions to which 23-year-old PFC Bradley Manning is being subjected” at the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Virginia. He has been accused of unauthorized access to classified material, some of which he allegedly downloaded to his computer, as well as other computer and security-related charges.

It is widely speculated that these charges relate to materials turned over to the Wikileaks website, including a video of an Apache helicopter attack civilians in Baghdad, the Iraq War logs, and thousands of State Department diplomatic cables. The military charge sheet accuses Manning of “wrongfully introducing more than 50 classified United States Department of State cables onto his personal computer, a non-secure information system.” It also alleges he downloaded a Powerpoint presentation, and “a classified video of a military operation filmed at or near Baghdad, Iraq, on or about 12 July 2007.”

Manning was held for approximately three weeks at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait before being transferred to Quantico, where he has remained in solitary confinement since late last July. In an article last month, I reported on PFC Manning’s current psychological state, as best as I could determine from speaking to David House, who had just visited him, and on the deleterious effects of solitary confinement in general. PsySR’s letter speaks at length also about the harsh conditions of solitary, and notes “no such putative risk can justify keeping someone not convicted of a crime in conditions likely to cause serious harm to his mental health.”

Isolation is truly a form of torture, and one often practiced in the so-called civilized world. A vicious form of solitary confinement known as “Special Administrative Measures” or SAMs were imposed by the Bush Administration Department of Justice on Syed Fahad Hashmi, and renewed by Attorney General Holder under President Obama. The SAMs meant Hashmi was kept in 23-hour lockdown and isolation before trial for three long years.

While it is used to break and control prisoners in America’s Supermax prisons, when used on accused prisoners, such as the detainees at Guantanamo, it can be used to “exploit” the prisoner. Such “exploitation” is a key component of torture programs, as the torture regime seeks not just information, but ways to manipulate prisoners for political benefit, or for use by intelligence agencies. Recently, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange told Sir David Frost on Frost’s interview program that airs on English AlJazeera that he believes the tortuous conditions of Manning’s solitary confinement are meant to force Manning to implicate him in supposed crimes against the American government. (See video of the Assange-Frost interview here.)

Assange has repeatedly said he does not know if Manning leaked the material to Wikileaks or not, but noted in an interview with Cenk Uygur at MSNBC last month:

If we are to believe the allegations, then this man acted for political reasons. He is a political prisoner in the United States. He has not gone to trial. He’s been a political prisoner without trial in the United States for some six or seven months. That’s a serious business. Human rights organizations should be investigating the conditions under which he is held and is there really due process there?

If there is one aspect of Manning’s situation I wish PsySR had emphasized more, it concerns the use of bogus Prevention of Injury (POI) orders to justify some of the conditions of Manning’s imprisonment, including use of a rough, heavy “suicide blanket,” limitations on time out of his cell, waking him in the night to “check” on him, as well as “checking” on him every five minutes or so during the day to ask if he is alright, even though he is under 24-hr. video surveillance. In addition, he is not allowed any personal items in his cell. He is not allowed to exercise in his cell, either. While it supposedly is aimed at protection against suicidal self-harm, the POI orders amount to psychological harassment and cruel treatment. Rather than “protecting” PFC Manning, the orders assist in breaking him down psychologically.

The POI orders are supposedly in place due to an assessment made by military mental health professionals. But reportedly a military psychiatrist found Manning not to be suicidal, and it’s unclear why he remains under POI orders. Quantico Public Affairs Officer Lt. Brian Villiard told Dennis Leahy at A World Without Borders last week that “a board that meets ‘frequently’ to reassess the [POI] situation.”

What follows is the text of the PsySR letter. PsySR is not affiliated with the larger American Psychological Assocation (APA). Neither APA nor the American Psychiatric Association has apparently made any statement on Manning’s onerous conditions of confinement.

PsySR Open Letter on PFC Bradley Manning’s Solitary Confinement

January 3, 2011

The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary
100 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) is deeply concerned about the conditions under which PFC Bradley Manning is being held at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. It has been reported and verified by his attorney that PFC Manning has been held in solitary confinement since July of 2010. He reportedly is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day, a cell approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length, with a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet. For no discernible reason other than punishment, he is forbidden from exercising in his cell and is provided minimal access to exercise outside his cell. Further, despite having virtually nothing to do, he is forbidden to sleep during the day and often has his sleep at night disrupted.

As an organization of psychologists and other mental health professionals, PsySR is aware that solitary confinement can have severely deleterious effects on the psychological well-being of those subjected to it. We therefore call for a revision in the conditions of PFC Manning’s incarceration while he awaits trial, based on the exhaustive documentation and research that have determined that solitary confinement is, at the very least, a form of cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment in violation of U.S. law.

In the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court case Medley, Petitioner, 134 U.S. 1690 (1890), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Freeman Miller wrote, “A considerable number of the prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition, from which it was next to impossible to arouse them, and others became violently insane; others still, committed suicide; while those who stood the ordeal better were not generally reformed, and in most cases did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community.” Scientific investigations since 1890 have confirmed in troubling detail the irreversible physiological changes in brain functioning from the trauma of solitary confinement.

As expressed by Dr. Craig Haney, a psychologist and expert in the assessment of institutional environments, “Empirical research on solitary and supermax-like confinement has consistently and unequivocally documented the harmful consequences of living in these kinds of environments . . . Evidence of these negative psychological effects comes from personal accounts, descriptive studies, and systematic research on solitary and supermax-type confinement, conducted over a period of four decades, by researchers from several different continents who had diverse backgrounds and a wide range of professional expertise… [D]irect studies of prison isolation have documented an extremely broad range of harmful psychological reactions. These effects include increases in the following potentially damaging symptoms and problematic behaviors: negative attitudes and affect, insomnia, anxiety, panic, withdrawal, hypersensitivity, ruminations, cognitive dysfunction, hallucinations, loss of control, irritability, aggression, and rage, paranoia, hopelessness, lethargy, depression, a sense of impending emotional breakdown, self-mutilation, and suicidal ideation and behavior” (pp. 130-131, references removed).

Dr. Haney concludes, “To summarize, there is not a single published study of solitary or supermax-like confinement in which non-voluntary confinement lasting for longer than 10 days where participants were unable to terminate their isolation at will that failed to result in negative psychological effects” (p. 132).

We are aware that prison spokesperson First Lieutenant Brian Villiard has told AFP that Manning is considered a “maximum confinement detainee,” as he is considered a national security risk. But no such putative risk can justify keeping someone not convicted of a crime in conditions likely to cause serious harm to his mental health. Further, history suggests that solitary confinement, rather than being a rational response to a risk, is more often used as a punishment for someone who is considered to be a member of a despised or “dangerous” group. In any case, PFC Manning has not been convicted of a crime and, under our system of justice, is at this point presumed to be innocent.

The conditions of isolation to which PFC Manning, as well as many other U.S. prisoners are subjected, are sufficiently harsh as to have aroused international concern. The most recent report of the UN Committee against Torture included in its Conclusions and Recommendations for the United States the following article 36:

“The Committee remains concerned about the extremely harsh regime imposed on detainees in “supermaximum prisons”. The Committee is concerned about the prolonged isolation periods detainees are subjected to, the effect such treatment has on their mental health, and that its purpose may be retribution, in which case it would constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 16).

The State party should review the regime imposed on detainees in “supermaximum prisons”, in particular the practice of prolonged isolation.” (Emphasis in original.)

In addition to the needless brutality of the conditions to which PFC Manning is being subjected, PsySR is concerned that the coercive nature of these conditions — along with their serious psychological effects such as depression, paranoia, or hopelessness — may undermine his ability to meaningfully cooperate with his defense, undermining his right to a fair trial. Coercive conditions of detention also increase the likelihood of the prisoner “cooperating” in order to improve those circumstances, even to the extent of giving false testimony. Thus, such harsh conditions are counter to the interests of justice.

Given the nature and effects of the solitary confinement to which PFC Manning is being subjected, Mr. Secretary, Psychologists for Social Responsibility calls upon you to rectify the inhumane, harmful, and counterproductive treatment of PFC Bradley Manning immediately.

Sincerely,

Trudy Bond, Ph.D.
Psychologists for Social Responsibility Steering Committee

Stephen Soldz, Ph.D.
President, Psychologists for Social Responsibility

For the Psychologists for Social Responsibility Steering Committee

An article by Dennis Leahy at the Bradley Manning Support Network website describes how concerned readers can register their opinions with the military authorities (bold emphasis in original):

The Bradley Manning Support Network calls upon Quantico base commander COL Daniel Choike and brig commanding officer CWO4 James Averhart to put an end to these inhumane, degrading conditions. Additionally, the Network encourages supporters to phone COL Choike at +1-703-784-2707 or write to him at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to fax CWO4 Averhart at +1-703-784-4242 or write to him at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, to demand that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody.

Full disclosure note: I have been a paying member of PsySR, though I have not participated in any organizational activities, nor am I a member of any of their committees. Any of my own opinions expressed here are my own, and cannot be attributed to PsySR.

Protest over Assange at Wandsworth, Attacks on Wikileaks, as New Revelations Emerge

11:01 am in Uncategorized by Jeff Kaye

Journalist John Pilger has written a letter to the UK Guardian, signed by a number of others as well, protesting the arrest, incarceration and international campaign of suppression against Julian Assange and Wikileaks. This comes as Mr. Assange remains imprisoned at London’s Wandsworth prison, held without bail under dubious sexual assault charges from Sweden.

Meanwhile, new leaks from the State Department cache of cables continue to be released and analyzed. Most amazing recently: how Shell Oil has “inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians’ every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta.” This is an incredible example of how modern imperialism operates. On the other hand, information from the cables have to be analyzed carefully. Andy Worthingon is looking at how the cables reflect upon the case Aafia Siddiqui, and explains that diplomatic communications are not always as straight-forward as one would think.

As comic-terror relief from all this, we have U.S. politicians, like Dianne Feinstein, calling for Assange to be charged with violations of the Espionage Act, a crazy law born out of fear of Reds and Anarchists right after the Russian Revolution (and with the U.S. entering the senseless slaughter of World War I). Unfortunately, Feinstein and others aren’t joking. This kind of demagoguery is a serious attack on press freedoms, endangering us all. We are living in very dangerous times.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Set Up Dedicated Link to Wikileaks Mirror Sites, It’s Easy!

8:51 pm in Uncategorized by Jeff Kaye

As Lisa Derrick noted in a posting tonight, a new website, wikileaksmirrorlist.blogspot.com, has posted a number of current mirror sites for the main Wikileaks website. This is necessary because hackers, and very likely the U.S. and other governments, are playing cyberwarfare against the website, due to its recent leaks of materials concerning war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, and of U.S. State Department diplomatic cables. The documentary truth does not match the official government line, and the powers that be would like to see it shut down or run out of business.

I’m not going to reproduce the current list here. You can click on any of the links above and get those. However, I do want to instruct you on how you can post your own link to the list of mirror sites. It’s really a Wikileaks logo hosted at Wikileaksmirrorsite, and installing just the text below onto your website will produce a nice Wikileaks pic, which if you click on it takes you to the latest listing of the mirror sites, kept up to date at Wikileaksmirrorsite.

What I did at my own website:

I took the following code and cut and pasted it into a text box on my blogspot page. Then I clicked save. Two steps. That was it.

Here’s the code, which will open the website and the list in a new window:

<a target=”_blank” href=”http://wikileaksmirrorlist.blogspot.com/2010/12/support-wikileaks.html”><img src="http://my.firedoglake.com/myfdl/wp-content/themes/myfdl_user/_inc/images/domain_blocked_default.png" width="150"/>
<b>WikiLeaks
Mirror Sites</b></a>

Here’s what it looks like in action:

WikiLeaks
Mirror Sites

If you want to get fancy, there’s a javascript version, which will produce a pop-up box for the mirror site listings. Here it is, though I get leery of using java because it doesn’t work on some browsers, especially the new cell phone browsers. In any case, it’s your choice, and you’re making a stand for press freedom, because the attacks on Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the end is not just on them, but on all of us.

<a href=”http://wikileaksmirrorlist.blogspot.com/2010/12/support-wikileaks.html”><img src=”http://my.firedoglake.com/myfdl/wp-content/themes/myfdl_user/_inc/images/domain_blocked_default.png” width=”150″/>
<b>WikiLeaks
Mirror Sites</b></a>

Thanks to Edger for the tip on this, and please, spread this around. For a list of all 729 mirror sites for Wikileaks now up around the world, see this page from http://wikileaks.ch/mirrors.html. You might want to bookmark that page, but if it’s down, you’ll need another reference to find a proper mirror site, and the instructions up above will put that on your very own site.

It’s cool, and you’re standing up for a free press all at the same time.