Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meanwhile in Belarus...

Wikileaks' primary Russian-language correspondent Israel Shamir met with Uladzimri Makei, the chief aide to President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko. Lukashenko's regime has been described as Europe's last dictatorship. According to the Belarusian pro-democracy group Charter 97:

In his interview to Interfax-Zapad news agency, Shamir confirmed the website possesses files on Belarus. According to him, WikiLeaks has several thousands of secret documents concerning Belarus to a greater or less degree. He added that the files on Belarus were “what the Americans report from Belarus and on Belarus. There may be interesting things.”

read here: Makei afraid of Assange’s files

Shamir was photographed by an Interfax photographer on the steps of the Belarus Presidential Administation Building in Minsk earlier today.

In related news, Hal Roberts of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society reports that the Lukashenko regime has prepared for today's election by conducting a hijacking campaign against a long list of websites associated with opposition parties. People who try to view these websites are redirected to phony ones set up by the regime.


UPDATE (Monday, Dec. 20, 2010):

And of course...

The Lukashenko regime has reverted to form.  Yesterday, election day, at least 6 of 9 opposition candidates were illegally arrested, as were hundreds of their aides and supporters.  Voters, protesters, reporters and observers were beaten by police.  Now we await the results of the "vote count", by which I mean outright theft of the election.  All this in spite of a promise of almost $4 billion of aid from Germany and Poland if Lukachenko allowed fair elections.  Read the NY Times coverage here: Belarus Police Arrest Opposition Leaders.  Human rights organization VIASNA has coverage here.

A note about the Holocaust denier Israel Shamir's working for Julian Assange as Wikileaks Russian correspondent: 

When I originally posted about this on Facebook, I received outraged comments from a free-lance journalist who supports Assange.  She claimed (without citing any specifics) that all the evidence of Shamir's working for Wikileaks was falsified, and that there was no indication of such a connection.  She went on to absurdly claim that my asking if such a connection worried her was a calculated attempt on my part to label her as a Nazi.  How silly.

And the rape charges:

In the past several days, we've seen liberals such as Bianca Jagger, Keith Olbermann, Michael Moore, Naomi Wolf and Naomi Klein (henceforth "the Naomis"), as well as the blog firedoglake, slander Assange's alleged victims as liars working in cahoots with the CIA to silence Assange.  Now we have Andrew Krieg writing in the Huffington Post claiming without any evidence whatsoever that they're working not for the CIA but for Karl Rove.  His "reasoning"?  Rove works as a consultant to the Swedish PM Reinfelt, and

"This all has Karl's signature," a reliable political source told me a week and a half ago... He must be very happy. He's right back in the middle of it. He's making himself valuable to his new friends, seeing the U.S. government doing just what he'd like ─ and screwing his opponents big-time."

In spite of the fact that a Wikileaks spokesman, in a Swedish radio interview, has confirmed and defended Wikileaks employing Israel Shamir, and in spite of the fact that Shamir himself has confirmed this and has negotiated on Wikileaks behalf with the Belarusian regime, Assange's enablers deny that such a thing could be true and slander as liars those who report it.  Meanwhile, Assange's enablers groundlessly slander the alleged victims of his sexual assaults as liars working for the CIA and/or Karl Rove.  The sheer brazenness of this double-standard concerning evidence is breathtaking.  More importantly, it is wrong to treat alleged rape victims in such a manner. These people feel that their actions support free speech and transparency in government, but support for any cause, no matter how just, would not mitigate their offenses.  Assange's narcissism and recklessness seem to be echoed by some of his supporters.  Good intentions is no defense.

The Guardian has coverage of Shamir and Wikileaks here.  The Guardian also published details of the Swedish prosecutors' evidence for their charges against Assange here, and an interview with the attorney for Assange's accusers, one which addresses the Assange enablers' conspiracy theories, here.    Have the enablers read this stuff?

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