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Holder says WikiLeaks under criminal investigation

(AP) – 54 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will prosecute anyone found to have violated U.S. law in the leaks of classified government documents by online whistleblower WikiLeaks, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

“This is not saber-rattling,” said the attorney general, who declared that the Obama administration condemns the leaks.

Holder said the latest disclosure, involving classified State Department documents, puts at risk the security of the nation, its diplomats, intelligence assets and U.S. relationships with foreign governments.

“To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, who put at risk the assets and the people I have described, they will be held responsible; they will be held accountable,” Holder said at a news conference on another topic. He called the WikiLeaks probe “an active, ongoing criminal investigation.”

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WikiLeaks Collaborating With Media Outlets on Release of Iraq Documents

A London-based journalism nonprofit is working with the WikiLeaks Web site and TV and print media in several countries on programs and stories based on what is described as massive cache of classified U.S. military field reports related to the Iraq War. Iain Overton, editor of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, tells Declassified that his organization has teamed up with media organizations—including major television networks and one or more American media outlets—in an unspecified number of countries to produce a set of documentaries and stories based on the cache of Iraq War documents in the possession of WikiLeaks. As happened with a similar WikiLeaks collection of tens of thousands of U.S. military field reports on the Afghan war, the unidentified media organizations involved with the London group in the Iraq documents project will all be releasing their stories on the same day, which Overton says would be several weeks from now. He declined to identify any of the media organizations participating in the project.

Overton acknowledges that the volume of Iraq War reports that WikiLeaks has made available for the project is massive, and almost certainly more than the 92,000 Afghan field reports the organization made available for advance review to The New York Times, Britain’s Guardian, and Germany’s Der Spiegel. The material is the “biggest leak of military intelligence” that has ever occurred, Overton says. As we reported when stories on WikiLeaks’ Afghan holdings first appeared, the site’s stash of Iraq documents is believed to be about three times as large as its Afghanistan collection. After the Times, Guardian, and Der Spiegel published their stories based on the Afghan war documents, the site itself posted 76,000 of the papers. But after coming under criticism from both Pentagon spokesmen and human-rights activists for publishing information that could jeopardize the lives of Afghans cooperating with American and allied forces, WikiLeaks said it would not itself post the remaining 15,000 Afghan war documents until activists had taken some time to review, and, if necessary, edit sensitive information from the material.

WikiLeaks had signaled that the Afghan war documents might be posted on the site in the near future; its plans for the release of those documents are currently unclear. Overton says that in their work on the Iraq War documents, his organization and its media partners have “significantly learned from past experiences” regarding disclosure of material that could put lives in jeopardy. “We are hugely aware that this is an issue, and we’re taking it very seriously,” Overton says. He says that his organization itself would not be posting raw U.S. government reports on the Web, adding that he sees his group’s job as digging stories out of the raw material, not simply publishing it in its original form. Overton says that his bureau’s media partners are also “aware of the need to ensure that information is properly redacted.”

Hacker on Alleged Wikileaks Source Adrian Lamo explains why he told authorities that U.S. Pvt. First Class Bradley Manning was the alleged source of the Afghanistan Wikileaks docs

Overton says that media organizations participating in the project will be making financial contributions to “help meet production costs” and that each media organization will likely come up with its own, at least partly original, take on the material because “everyone wants their exclusive.” He declined to discuss in any detail what specific revelations the Iraq documents might contain. Declassified has previously reported that the Iraq material portrays U.S. forces being involved in a “bloodbath,” but some of the most disturbing material relates to the abusive treatment of detainees, not by Americans but by Iraqi security forces.

It is unclear what role WikiLeaks frontman and cofounder Julian Assange is playing in the current project. Assange is currently facing an investigation by Swedish authorities related to allegations of rape and sexual molestation. Pentagon officials have condemned WikiLeaks’ handling of classified defense files and have demanded that the Web site hand back all its holdings to U.S. authorities and destroy all its copies of the material.

Wikileaks Gets Nuke Proof – Servers Moved to Underground Nuclear Bunker.


Internet service providers often tell their clients that they offer “bullet-proof hosting.” Whistle-blower organization Wikileaks, it seems, will settle for nothing less than “bomb-proof.”

Some portion of Wikileaks’ servers have been moved to the “Pionen” White Mountains data center owned by Swedish broadband provider Bahnhof, as first reported by Norwegian news site VG Nett last Friday. That data center will store Wikileaks’ data 30 meters below ground inside a Cold-War-era nuclear bunker carved out of a large rock hill in downtown Stockholm. The server farm has a single entrance and is outfitted by half-meter thick metal doors and backup generators pulled from German submarines–fitting safeguards, perhaps, for an organization that raised the ire of several powerful military forces last month when it released thousands of classified Afghanistan war documents.

Here’s a video tour from the IT organization Data Center Pulse filmed in 2008, showing a super-secure facility it describes as worthy of “a James Bond villain.”

Earlier in August the copyright-flouting Swedish Pirate Party began hosting Wikileaks’ IT operations, and it’s not clear exactly why it’s chosen to move Wikileaks’ servers to the Pionen facility. The threat of law enforcement physically seizing or destroying the organization’s equipment, after all, is much less likely than a legal attempt to gain direct access to Wikileaks’ data. Last year the Swedish government put a crack in the country’s strong free speech protections when it passed a controversial law allowing surveillance of Internet traffic by the FRA, a law enforcement agency.

But Stockholm-based Bahnhof executive Jon Karlung tells me in an interview that the company’s data center is “a kind of metaphor” for Bahnhof’s commitment to resist any sort of intrusion, physical or legal. “We’re proud to have clients like these,” he says. “The Internet should be an open source for freedom of speech, and the role of an ISP is to be a neutral technological tool of access, not an instrument for collecting information from customers.”

Karlung says Bahnhof has not yet complied with Sweden’s new FRA surveillance law. “We have an unbroken chain of fiber-optic cables that cover 2,300 kilometers,” says Karlung. “We’re positive that [government agencies] haven’t installed any equipment yet. That day will come, and when it does we’ll inform all clients that they’re surveilled by the Swedish government.”

Wikileaks has likely spread its servers well beyond any single data center, including other facilities in Sweden and Iceland, and it’s also posted an encrypted file labeled “insurance” on its site, potentially to be used as a threat of further data spillage aimed at preventing attacks on the site or its volunteer staff.

In the coming weeks, Wikileaks has said it will release another 15,000 documents related to the war in Afghanistan. As the controversy around the site mounts, it may need every protection it can find…continue to original article.

Military ordered to stay off WikiLeaks

Julian Assange, an Australian who launched WikiLeaks four years ago, concedes that even his team hasn't read all the documents about the Afghanistan war released on his website. (Provided by Martina Haris)Julian Assange, an Australian who launched WikiLeaks four years ago, concedes that even his team hasn’t read all the documents about the Afghanistan war released on his website. (Provided by Martina Haris)

By Rowan Scarborough

Engineers on Thursday pumped cement into the Gulf of Mexico’s gushing oil well as part of an operation that could stop the leak for good. Will the leak be plugged by September?The U.S. armed services are issuing internal messages to all personnel barring them from visiting the WikiLeaks website, which recently posted 77,000 classified diplomatic and military messages on the long war in Afghanistan.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman confirmed Thursday for The Washington Times that all four services “have put out such messages” after The Times had obtained copies of Navy and Marine Corps messages banning troops from accessing WikiLeaks.

Mr. Whitman later told The Times that the Army and Air Force had not yet issued such statements.

The orders seem to be the most far-reaching effort by the Pentagon in its ongoing effort to stop the release of classified information. The military is telling the troops they cannot even view what is publicly available, even though the WikiLeaks documents are on hundreds of websites.

In addition, the Pentagon is demanding that WikiLeaks return the classified documents it posted on the Internet, as the whistleblower website apparently is preparing another huge document dump.

A July 29 message from the National Security Litigation Division of the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps tells all sailors that:

“[Department of the Navy] personnel should not access the WikiLeaks website to view or download the publicized classified information. Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks.”

“There has been rumor that the information is no longer classified since it resides in the public domain. This is NOT true,” said the internal message, a copy of which was obtained by The Times.

Titled “Wikileaks Website Guidance,” the Navy message further states:

“Government information technology capabilities should be used to enable our war fighters, promote information sharing in defense of our homeland, and to maximize efficiencies in operations. It should not be used as a means to harm national security through unauthorized disclosure of our information on publicly accessible websites or chat rooms.”

Story Continues →

In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’., the online organization that posted tens of thousands of classified military field reports about the Afghan war on Sunday, says its goal in disclosing secret documents is to reveal “unethical behavior” by governments and corporations.

Editors and reporters who worked on these articles will be answering questions about the coverage of the material.  Since it was founded in December 2006, WikiLeaks has exposed internal memos about the dumping of toxic material off the African coast, the membership rolls of a racist British party, and the American military’s manual for operating its prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies,” the organization’s Web site says. “All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information.”

The trove of war reports posted Sunday dwarfs the scope and volume of documents that the organization has made public in the past.

In a telephone interview from London, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, said the documents would reveal broader and more pervasive levels of violence in Afghanistan than the military or the news media had previously reported. “It shows not only the severe incidents but the general squalor of war, from the death of individual children to major operations that kill hundreds,” he said.