Digest – March 28 2010

I want to draw attention to one particularly important story this week, so there’s a note before the usual home, world, other stuff.


Wikileaks is one organisation that seems to scare the CIA. The non-profit website, which is run on a shoestring, publishes confidential documents leaked anonymously to them from sources all over the world. In recent years they’ve published the manual for CIA operative in Guantanamo Bay, documents showing evidence of government-known human rights abuses in Kenya, the BNP membership list and the court-surpessed Trafigura report, amongst more than a million other documents. No source has ever been traced back to the leaking of a document through Wikileaks. Documents are verified before release and they say they’ve never released a false document.

Their documents have resulted in countless front page stories in the mainstream press.

Earlier this month they published a CIA report which details ways Wikileaks could be destroyed. Earlier this week they had another CIA document which analyses ways the French and German public could be manipulated to ensure support for the war in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday Wikileaks said it was under “aggressive surveillance” from US and Icelandic government employees. They say they were stopped and questioned by US agents and shown secretly taken photos of their own editorial meetings. They say the tailing and questioning is due to a film they have which they say contains footage of a US massacre (reportedly in Afghanistan) which they’re due to release at the US National Press Club on April 5th.

Read their editorial about what has happened to them in the last week here. Glenn Greenwald tells you why they’re so important here.

One of the tweets said “if anything happens to us, you’ll know who’s to blame”. Here’s hoping the April 5th video does get out, safely.


Bryan Mukandi of Irishtimes.com reshuffles

What I found really sad about the reshuffle and then the terms in which it has been subsequently analysed is that apart from the fuzzy, non-specific talk of innovation and economic recovery, there hadn’t been much in the way of articulating a comprehensive vision for the future. Not by government, nor the opposition. The discussion has been something like discussing the merits of a new football signing without any reference to team he has joined, long term goals, their style of play, their likely position at the end of the season, the competitions in which they will be involved, and so forth.

Karl Whelan picks apart Eamon Ryan’s spin.

David McWilliams in the Sunday Business Post

Sometimes, when I hear the incessant propaganda concerning the economy and the banks – which is being peddled by the same people who talked about ‘‘soft landings’’ and ‘‘new paradigms’’ a few years ago – I feel that I have walked into the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the rulers have convinced the citizens that black is white. The people who got everything completely wrong during the boom are now on television most nights bleating the mantra that ‘‘there is no alternative’’ to bailing out the banks.


Can anyone confirm that this is translated correctly? Conor McCabe says

This is footage of Greek Special Forces parading in Athens on 25 March, Greek Independence Day. The soldiers are chanting racist slogans against Albanians, Macedonians, and Turks. They can be heard shouting “Tell the Skopians, tell the Albanians, that our clothes we will sew with their skin.”

The producer/director of the ‘MPs for Hire’ program by Channel 4 Dispatches team writes the insider’s story for Prospect.

Blogger ruins US senator. “It’s not bilingualism if you’re just talking out of both sides of your mouth”, writes Dara Lind…

… two days after [Republican Senator Lindsey] Graham debuted his [The Man Who Will Kill The Immigaration Reform Bill] mask for the English-language press, he went on Al Punto, Univision’s Sunday politics show, to express his support for reform.

Somali pirates have a fairly complex business model, according a UN report released earlier this week… via UN Dispatch

To be eligible for employment as a pirate, a volunteer should already possess a firearm for use in the operation. For this ‘contribution’, he receives a ‘class A’ share of any profit. Pirates who provide a skiff or a heavier firearm, like an RPG or a general purpose machine gun, may be entitled to an additional A-share. The first pirate to board a vessel may also be entitled to an extra A-share.

In a similar vein, NPR Planet Money reporter Adam Davidson went to Port Au Prince where he covered the emergence of a local economy in the largest of the newly formed tent cities. Fascinating. Video below.


Markham Nolan’s chilled slideshow, Eolaí’s Studio.

Eolai from Markham Nolan on Vimeo.

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