Suspected Rove Role In Swede WikiLeaks Probe, Part II

 

Over the holiday weekend, the Justice Integrity Project received significant new leads advancing our story about Karl Rove’s advisory services to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and their potential link to the ongoing WikiLeaks probes by Sweden and the United States. 

Part of this came from the reader links from News24 in Sweden, a tabloid that boasts of the ninth highest readership among that country’s online news sites.

News24 chief editor Aaron Israelson led his organization being the first in his country to follow up our group's Huffington Post story and the work of Alabama legal commentator Roger Shuler. Shuler and I each wrote updates on Monday. Mine appeared in Connecticut Watchdog. Shuler's published by multiple sites, including his Legal Schnauzer, Daily Kos and FireDogLake. These reports (listed below) were largely status reports enlivened by excellent reader comments. The most substantive reporting based on new leads is still to come.

Several points are worth noting here beyond the specifics of the Rove/WikiLeaks story. First, these investigations are an ongoing process that benefit from reader comments. The Rove/Sweden/WikiLeaks angle is almost entirely ignored by the traditional media in both countries, for example.

Yet an astonishing amount of information is already available if one follows links provided by readers. Second, the investigation of WikiLeaks founder on sex and spy claims is not simply a government vs. whistleblower story, or right vs. left.

In many ways it’s also old media vs. new media. This is memorably illustrated by a video of former CIA analyst Ray McGovern telling CNN news anchor Don Lemon, who appears almost childlike during his scolding, that he should not be parroting government claims that Assange is “a pariah” -- and should start emulating Assange by providing information to the public about important matters. Glenn Greenwald’s Salon column and the New Yorker also illustrate this theme by showing the major media’s abject deference to government leaders during their pivotal 2003 coverage of the beginning of the Iraqi war.

The March 2007 video “Rappin Rove” is even closer to the core themes of our legal reform project.  This was the black-tie gala where leading broadcast journalists frolicked the then-White House advisor Rove at the height of the U.S. attorney firing/political prosecution scandal. The video foreshadows the disinterest by traditional media in scrutinizing powerful government sources in a sustained way.

For these reasons, our project expands our commentary beyond purely legal reform to include a selection of commentaries on media trends, national politics, surveillance/security and major military contracts. We don’t necessarily endorse specific conclusions by the authors. Instead, this is to broaden the range of possibilities beyond the equally inconclusive but typically vapid commentaries of the more prominent pundits. Blogs today by Shuler and investigative reporter Wayne Madsen, for instance, speculate about the connections of longtime military analyst John Wheeler that may have caused him to be murdered.  Shuler and Madsen stress different themes from his past. But they would doubtless would agree that the public deserves the option of reading about potentially relevant factors in such a mysterious and high-profile murder.

As ever, we look forward to your own feedback on these and other complex and important matters.

Editor's Note: Below is a selection of other significant blogs and news articles on legal reform and related political, security and media news. The articles contain a sample of news, with the full article viewable by clicking the link.

 

WikiLeaks, Security and Surveillance


Connecticut Watchdog, Rove Suspected of Role In Swedish WikiLeaks Probe, Justice Integrity Project, Jan. 3, 2010.
Karl Rove’s help for Sweden as it and the Obama administration investigate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be the latest example of the adage, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”

Legal Schnauzer and Daily Kos, The Rove/Assange Story Hits the International Press in Sweden, Roger Shuler, Jan. 3, 2010. The story of Karl Rove's likely connection to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been picked up by a major news site in Sweden. We are pleased to say that our work here at Legal Schnauzer played a part in an important story going global.

News24 (Sweden), Karl Rove helps Reinfeldt to manage Julian Assange, Aaron Israelson, Dec. 26, 2010.

OpEd News, Obama Should Read WikiLeaks on Afghanistan, Ray McGovern, Jan. 3, 2011. Perhaps President Barack Obama should give himself a waiver on the ban prohibiting U.S. government employees from downloading classified cables released by WikiLeaks, so he can get a better grasp on the futility of his Afghan War strategy.

Wall Street Journal, Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers, Floyd Abrams, Dec. 29, 2010. On the face of the statute, it could not only permit the indictment of Mr. Assange but of journalists who actually report about or analyze diplomatic or defense topics. To this date, no journalist has ever been indicted under these provisions.

TPM Muckraker, Judith Miller Criticizes Assange... For Not Verifying His Sources, Eric Lach, Jan. 3, 2011 (Video). Judith Miller, the former New York Times reporter who was much criticized for her reporting on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction capabilities in the build-up to war, offered some pretty ironic criticisms of Julian Assange on Fox News this weekend. While arguing that Wikileaks is a new kind of journalism that people need to "get used" to, she called the Wikileaks' founder a "bad journalist." Why? "Because he didn't care at all about attempting to verify the information that he was putting out or determine whether or not it would hurt anyone," she said. For comparison's sake, here's what Miller once told Michael Massing in defense of her reporting (courtesy of Crooks and Liars): "[M]y job isn't to assess the government's information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq's arsenal.

Washington Post, With Air Force's new drone, 'we can see everything,' Ellen Nakashima and Craig Whitlock, Jan. 2, 2011. In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military's most valuable new tools. This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town…."Gorgon Stare will be looking at a whole city, so there will be no way for the adversary to know what we're looking at, and we can see everything."

News Media

New Yorker, “The Toppling: How the Media Inflated a Minor Moment of War, Peter Maass with support of Pro Publica. Jan. 10, 2011. Propaganda has been a staple of warfare for ages, but the notion of creating events on the battlefield, as opposed to repackaging real ones after the fact, is a modern development.

Salon/Unclaimed Territory, John Burns' "ministering angels" and "liberators," Glenn Greenwald, Jan. 4, 2011.
U.S. Marines help bring down a giant statue of Saddam Hussein in a square in central Baghdad in April 2004. In this week's New Yorker, Peter Maass -- who was in Iraq covering the war at the time -- examines the iconic, manufactured toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad's Firdos Square, an event the American media relentlessly exploited in April, 2003, to propagandize citizens into believing that Iraqis were gleeful over the U.S. invasion and that the war was a smashing success….The reason there's so little government censorship of the press in America is because it's totally unnecessary; why would the government even want to censor a media this compliant and subservient?

Locust Fork News-Journal, Top Stories and People for 2010, Glynn Wilson, Jan. 2, 2011. It seems almost inevitable that about this time every year, while joining the rest of the press in searching the world over for a good man or woman to highlight as the person of the year, I sort of feel like Diogenes the Cynic, who you may recall from the story, supposedly walked around naked and homeless in ancient Athens, Greece holding up a lantern -- looking for an honest man.

U.S. Politics

OpEd News, The left has nowhere to go, Chris Hedges, Jan. 3, 2011. There is no major difference between a McCain administration, a Bush and an Obama administration. Obama, in fact, is in many ways worse.

Military Contracting & Unsolved Homicide

New York Times, Diplomats Help Push Sales of Jetliners on the Global Market, Eric Lipton, Nicola Clark and Andrew W. Lehren, Jan. 3, 2010. To a greater degree than previously known, diplomats are a big part of the sales force, according to hundreds of cables released by WikiLeaks, which describe politicking and cajoling at the highest levels….The documents also suggest that demands for bribes, or at least payment to suspicious intermediaries who offer to serve as “agents,” still take place. Boeing says it is committed to avoiding any such corrupt practices.

Wayne Madsen Report, Another Dead Body from Cheney Chain of Command Shows Up, Jan. 4, 2011 (Subscription required). Former special assistant to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne, John Wheeler III, also a veteran of the GHW Bush and Reagan administrations, was discovered at the Cherry Island landfill in Wilmington, Delaware on December 31 after it was dumped from a sanitation truck that originated its run in Newark, Delaware.

Legal Schnauzer, Why Did Former Bush-Administration Official Wind Up Dead In A Delaware Landfill? Roger Shuler, Jan. 4, 2011. A former Bush-administration official has turned up dead, his body found in a Delaware landfill, and police are calling it a homicide…. The Delaware murder raises an eyebrow here at Legal Schnauzer for a couple of reasons: (1) We've written about the mysterious deaths of at least four Alabamians in the past year with connections to outgoing Republican Governor Bob Riley; (2) We've reported on the battle between Boeing and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) for a $35-billion Air Force tanker contract and noted its possible corrupting influence on Alabama politics.

 

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