Why I Like Wikileaks

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Because it gives us a peek behind the curtain at what POWER is really doing under the guise of secrecy and national security.


"AMY GOODMAN: According to documents obtained by Truthout under the Freedom of Information Act, senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security tried to have you remove a report you published on the Rolling Stonemagazine website in February about the agency’s role in monitoring Occupy Wall Street. In an email message on the day your piece was published, Caitlin Durkovich, chief of staff in DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, wrote, quote, "I think we should consider calling Hastings and help him understand our mission," she said.

The next day, after other news outlets had picked up your story, Durkovich wrote again to say, "I think we need to pick up the phone, and call Hastings. National security is his beat, but he can be provocative so we need to have a clear sey [sic] of tps," you know, talking points. "Let’s explain our mission, to include what FPS’s" — the federal protective service’s — "role has been in OWS. And push back on the inaccuracies."

Explain what took place. Did they call you?

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Well, I just found out about this yesterday. I would have answered—

AMY GOODMAN: I guess they didn’t call.

MICHAEL HASTINGS: They did not call. I would have answered the call. I would have been happy to actually talk to them about this report, because it was quite a—what I published online was a internal Department of Homeland Security document that revealed that they had been paying very close attention to Occupy Wall Street, monitoring it, monitoring social media, and kind of just explaining what Occupy Wall Street was. So it was a fairly benign report in a lot of ways, though it raised some questions about why is Department of Homeland Security, you know, analyzing Occupy Wall Street? Now, it turns out, also in these emails, it says thatDHS want to say, "Look, we shouldn’t have even done this report." So they actually wanted to—they sort of agreed with me, while at the same time there was about, I guess, a hundred pages of emails deciding how they should respond to the Occupy—to our report in Rolling Stone about it.

AMY GOODMAN: But explain further what this report is and where you got the information that you got.

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Well, so, this came from the WikiLeaks Stratfor files dump. I don’t know if you remember that the hacking group Anonymous hacked into this private intelligence firm, Stratfor, and Assange and the crew gave me access to this stuff. This was in February. And I went through—and I went looking through this. And one of the people in Stratfor had access to this Department of Homeland Security document. So we know Stratfor was getting leaks from the Department of Homeland Security. One of them was this Occupy Wall Street analysis or report on Occupy Wall Street. I thought it was very odd to have a Department of Homeland Security report about a peaceful protest movement. That raised just normal alarm bells. And so—so that’s why we did the report.

But it was all for—but it was actually a credit to the WikiLeaks guys who put this stuff out there. I always find it—I guess, as a journalist, one is supposed to be probably somewhat flattered by the—how—you know, as my editor at Rolling Stone put it yesterday, when the government is trying to pad your file. And I think that that was certainly the case here. They also brought their concerns to the White House when they were trying to come up with a statement. But clearly, allegations that the Department of Homeland Security, that was spying or monitoring Occupy Wall Street really hit a nerve within—in Washington.

AMY GOODMAN: They say the Stratfor document wasn’t true.

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Well, I think that it was authentic. And as far as I can tell, they’re not disputing the authenticity.


MICHAEL HASTINGS: What they’re disputing, as far as I can tell, is that they shouldn’t have—they shouldn’t have done it, that DHS themselves shouldn’t have done it. But they didn’t under—they couldn’t figure out how Stratfor even got the document to begin with.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, before we conclude, Michael Hastings, I just wanted to ask you quickly about the three military personnel, two of whom are retired, of course, who have talked about what’s happened at Dawood Hospital, whether they’re likely to face any punitive consequences as whistleblowers?

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Well, I don’t think so, at this stage. You know, they’re colonels. Their careers, they’ve had—most of them had pretty long, storied careers already. One is a JAG lawyer anyway. So, in this case, they seem very well protected from the sort of retaliation that we’ve seen in the past. But, you know, look, it’s not easy when you’re in the Army or in the military to go in front of Congress and say, "Look, a four-star—sorry, a three-star general is lying," you know, because there’s a lot of pressure for them not to do that. So it’s quite impressive that they have. And there are current—I should point out, there are currently two ongoing investigations into General Caldwell about his retaliation against the whistleblowers and trying to get in the way of the investigation.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: That’s the Military Whistleblower Protection Act that you spoke of."

Jun. 29, 2012 9:24 am


Thanks for the link and furthuring the truth.

Another time and other protests, but the same story.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Wikileaks does the job the true media as the 4th estate is supposed to do for a better functioning government.

The mainstream media - just like the political system and the vast majority of politicians On Both Sides - have been completely bought off.

Just look at the reaction of the politicians - especially the Obama admin - to the wikileaks releases.

Now true freedom of the press has been called a CRIME by the Obama team to a level no other president has ever done - including bush himself. Hard to believe but it's true.

When the truth exposes one's behavior as Criminal then one fights against the release of said documents and stories to protect said criminal behavior.

Which is why the obama team hates wikileaks, wants Julian assange in a us jail and possibly executed for treason - when wikileaks is simply doing the job a true news outlet should be doing if they weren't on the take by the politicians and their owners the oligarchs.
If there weren't crimes to hide then the backlash against wiki wouldn't be so intense.

Who would have thought that after the bush crimes Obama would gladly drive the getaway car while simultaneously engaging in his own crime spree.

Scappoose's picture
Mar. 30, 2012 6:49 am

Assange actually forwarded the material to the 4th estate. Whatever is out was not from him. Daniel Elsberg was a great patriot, too. He didn't print anything either.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

The best thing about Wikileaks was how the pundits on the "real" news outlets kept trying to downplay the releases by saying things like, "These documents don't tell us anything that we didn't already know."

That just makes the "real" news channels even worse for knowing about widespread secret torture, secret prisons, secret renditions, secret bombings, secret assassinations and all other sorts of secret (and entirely illegal) methods of modern warfare, and not reporting any of it to the voting public.

JTaylor's picture
Mar. 19, 2012 1:04 pm

Wikileaks-speaking truth to power. Absolutely needed in a democracy where govt classify things as Top Secret to avoid embarressment.

Jun. 29, 2012 9:24 am

The 4th estate is not for the state, Amy Goodman said. The church, unions, universities and media are supposedly independent greatnesses that have lost their independence in end-stage capitalism.

Peace and resistance are part of our nature as antibodies are part of our bodies. Shareholder-value capitalism and financial capitalism are rife with contradictions and destined to sunset as long as myths and lies, half-truths and fish-stories dominate. The financial crisis that became a global economic crisis and a state debt crisis should be a wake-up call and writing on the wall to learn from market failure and elite failure. Another world is possible and another economics is necessary beyond short-term fixation and profit worship. The inside and the outside of the cup must be cleansed. All people should share in the productivity and technology revolutions to restore public spirit and joy in life.

demandside's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Stratfor and Jeremy Hammond.

I just saw an update about Jeremy Hammond, the guy charged with hacking into the Texas CIA wannabe company (Stratfor) and giving a copy of their emails to Wikileaks, being denied bail after already being held for eight months. (Smells like B.O. to me.)

The news story says the judge, Loretta Preska, should have recused herself because her husband, Thomas Kavaler, was associated in some way with Stratfor who claims they were harmed because the ease at which their system was breached belies the true mickey-mouse quality of their product (all sales pitch, no substance).

So I poked around a little. "Thomas J. Kavaler" has been so thoroughly scrubbed that I had to rely on his firm's (Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP) bio for starters, but the scrubbing has been so complete that I couldn't even find an old newspaper story to confirm the first piece of background in his bio - that he was a clerk for Judge Milton Pollack of the United States District Court.

I did see that Judge Milton Pollock was known to have been a favorite escort of Joan Crawford (Winchell Everywhere, March 9, 1968) and that Joan Crawford was appointed to the Pepsi Board in 1959 (LA Times May 7, 1959) and that U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled in 1998 that Pepsi could go forward with its claim that Coke had violated antitrust laws by cornering the market for fountain drinks distributed through foodservice distributors. Given that her husband claims to have worked for the Judge that "escorted" a Pepsi board member (can't really be that many of them, can there?) she should probably have let another judge handle that case too.

But what intrigued me more was that this Judge, Loretta Preska, had made news on June 22, 1997 under: Judge blocks New York's anti-sex internet law A New York law that threatened cyberspace pedophiles with prison terms was well-intentioned but unconstitutional according to her and so she blocked enforcement of it.

The intriguing part is that her former employer, Cahill Gordon & Reindel (who are now also her husband's current employer) list among their "prominent corporate" clients: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch & Citigroug. These are all among the donors listed on the old Second Mile annual reports.

Cahill boasts that Floyd Abrams, a famous First Amendment advocate, has been with their firm since 1963. Strange they didn't take up the cause of representing Mr. Sandusky at his recent trial to help him explain that his actions were as much a form of speech as spending dollars is to a corporation (yes, they're the Citizens United advocates, too).

They could have helped him explain that the charity name said it all - they were simply helping those kids achieve a Second Mile (six inches at a time).

Rodger97321's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Forgot to make my point (hazard of researching while trying not to premeditate what I'm going to say) beyond that this is another Judge that doesn't know when to recuse oneself.

We used to have a country where loose associations weren't enough to lock a person up indefinitely.

If persons charged with non-violent crimes can be denied bail (=their freedom) until whatever time the State considers it is time to actually bring the case to trial - then we should at least apply the rule consistently.

In that case, since the previously alleged heinous crimes commmited under the auspices of Second Mile - have been proven in a court of law to be matters of fact - then all of the persons who facillitated those crimes should be charged accordingly.

Until such time as this can be determined, using the Bradley Manning (for military) / Jeremy Hammond (for civilian) methodology (initiated under Obama Administration):

Whoever provided funding for Second MIle (start with those of $5,000 or more - like Patriot Act does for so-called terrorist groups) should be arrested and held without bail until such time as a full investigation can be completed.

For institutions like Bank of America, State Farm Insurance, Prudential Financial, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, etc. rather that locking up their entire Boards of Director - start with the persons at those institutions that authorized the large "donations" to Second Mile. See their publicly available Annual Reports for complete list.

If it can be determined that they never benefited from the raping of children, then by all means, let them go free, but in the meantime - how can we let them remain at-large to repeat their crimes?

Rodger97321's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Scappoose: Who would have thought that after the bush crimes Obama would gladly drive the getaway car while simultaneously engaging in his own crime spree.

Anyone who has been paying attention....

norske's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Republicans Admit to Accepting Bribes, Why Aren't They In Jail?

The whole Roy Moore thing in a way really highlights in my mind how committed the Republicans are to sucking up to the very, very wealthy base. I've been referring to them for a long time as the owners of the Republican Party, but they're also the ones that keep the Republican Party in power. They're also the supporters of the Republican Party.

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