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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:40 PM

Julian Assange expresses surprise over EU WikiLeaks decision

Source: Press Association via The Guardian

EU commission says credit card company blockade of whistleblowing website unlikely to have broken anti-trust rules
Tuesday 27 November 2012 10.02 EST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has expressed surprise after the European commission said a block on processing donations for his organisation by credit card companies was unlikely to have violated EU anti-trust rules ...

DataCell, a company that collected donations for WikiLeaks, complained to the commission about Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe and American Express after they stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December 2010 ...

The commission's preliminary decision is expected to be followed by a final decision in the next few weeks ...


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/27/julian-assange-eu-wikileaks-decision



Assange blasts US lawmakers for financial block of WikiLeaks, seeks EU investigation
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 10:49 AM
BRUSSELS — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has urged the European Union to reverse its decision not to launch an anti-trust probe of U.S. credit card companies after they blocked donations to the secret-spilling website ... Assange says they imposed the blockade at the instigation of “right-wing extremists” in the U.S. Congress. He was speaking via videoconference form Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has been living since June to avoid being extradited to Sweden over sexual misconduct allegations ...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/assange-blasts-us-lawmakers-for-financial-block-of-wikileaks-seeks-eu-investigation/2012/11/27/fe41a158-38a9-11e2-9258-ac7c78d5c680_story.html

WikiLeaks Lost $50 Million Over Payment Blockade, Assange Says
By Aoife White on November 27, 2012
WikiLeaks lost more than $50 million in potential donations after Visa Europe, MasterCard Inc. (MA) and American Express Co. (AXP) blocked payments to the anti-secrecy group, according to its founder Julian Assange ...
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-27/wikileaks-lost-50-million-over-payment-blockade-assange-says

23 replies, 3582 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Julian Assange expresses surprise over EU WikiLeaks decision (Original post)
struggle4progress Nov 2012 OP
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #1
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #2
randome Nov 2012 #3
msanthrope Nov 2012 #4
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #5
freshwest Nov 2012 #6
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #7
freshwest Nov 2012 #9
msanthrope Nov 2012 #11
freshwest Nov 2012 #12
msanthrope Nov 2012 #16
freshwest Nov 2012 #17
msanthrope Nov 2012 #18
freshwest Nov 2012 #19
randome Nov 2012 #20
msanthrope Nov 2012 #21
freshwest Nov 2012 #22
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #8
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #10
freshwest Nov 2012 #13
Hissyspit Nov 2012 #14
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #15
Zorra Nov 2012 #23

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:44 PM

1. Credit card blockade of WikiLeaks donations likely to be legal, EU says

Credit card companies should not be allowed to impose an 'economic death penalty,' WikiLeaks' Assange says
By Loek Essers and Jennifer Baker | 27 November 12

... "On the basis of the information available, the Commission considers that the complaint does not merit further investigation because it is unlikely that any infringement of E.U. competition rules could be established," an official of the European Commission said in an email on Tuesday.

The Commission said it looked at the impact of the blockade on DataCell and at the impact on the markets in which it operates. "It appears that DataCell is not prevented from accepting card payments for its own services or for the benefit of other parties; it is only payments for the benefit of WikiLeaks that DataCell cannot process. It seems unlikely that this would lead to harmful effects to competition and to consumers on the payment services markets concerned," the official said.

It is unclear when the Commission will issue a final decision. "We never announce that in advance," the official said ...

WikiLeaks used to receive ¬120,000 a day ($150,000) in Europe, with most donations averaging less than ¬30, Assange said ...

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/internet/3413333/credit-card-blockade-of-wikileaks-donations-likely-be-legal-eu-says/

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:45 PM

2. Credit ban 'wiped out WikiLeaks'

... Mr Assange said his business would be at least 20 times bigger if it was not for the economic blockade ...

http://www.news.com.au/news/ruling-wont-stop-wikileaks-julian-assange/story-fnejlrpu-1226525355526

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:01 PM

3. It would be a hundred times bigger if he hadn't published national security documents.

Without vetting them. I contribute to Red Cross, DU and the Obama campaign. I'd contribute to an organization like Wikileaks if they only did whistleblowing.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:05 PM

4. The bail Jumper wants a probe? nt

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:17 PM

5. Credit card block on WikiLeaks "unlikely" to have violated EU rules

... Assange addressed a Brussels news conference by videolink from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was given refuge in June to circumvent his threatened extradition to Sweden on sex allegations ...
http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/credit-card-block-on-wikileaks-unlikely-to-have-violated-eu-rules_251903.html

This is interesting because Assange was originally scheduled to address the Union Society at Cambridge University by videolink today. But he canceled today's talk last week on the groups that the videolink would be technically impossible, after a controversy erupted about the rape allegations. Nevertheless, he is also scheduled today to address a group in Germany by videolink

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:49 PM

6. $50 million? $50 million? Who do you think you are, Kelsey Grammar? Chelsea Clinton?

You are just BAD, s4p, very naughty.

Although I don't see where there would be an anti-trust issue. Because we know the banks are all the same, so how could there be collusion?

Restriction of monetary transfers, little digits in a computer database based on whatever the whim of the day is? But still... $50 million lost? How much money was generated before and after this? Or does this mean the restraint of trade was not between the number of banks, but the profits of Wikileaks, PC/LLC/INK.?


$50 million... $50 million... OMG, my whole life has been a failure, I don't have $50 million to call my own. Perhaps, I don't even exist.


GBCW. Sigh. But I am starting to wonder about you, though, s4p.






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Response to freshwest (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:07 PM

7. JA says $150K was coming in daily before the credit card companies pulled the plug

$150K X 365 = over $50 million annually

At that rate, I would have thought they could afford to kick in a bit more than $15K for Manning's defense

WikiLeaks Contributes $15,000 to Bradley Manning’s Defense
By Kim Zetter
01.13.11
2:50 PM
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/01/manning-donations/

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:51 PM

9. I would think so, too. Is this really all about the money, like a marketing scheme?

Last edited Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:41 PM - Edit history (1)

I'm guessing Manning is confined to using the attorneys paid for by the government. It's not a civilian case, so more money might not have helped. It might have been better if Wikileaks used more of their influence or wealth to help him. The focus on Assange detracted from that.

Answer me this, hasn't JA said that Wikileaks is 'his' creation, that it belongs to him? Could anyone be that cynical as to use the public desire to know things, just for personal gain?

I'll rephrase that. Cynicism is considered clever, but it's as blind as faith at times. Is anyone smart enough to pull off a scheme to make millions and not be called on it?

All protestations of higher purpose, such as we have seen from the religious right, conservative wingnuts and CT pundits, end up being large scams based on manipulating emotions. Like Beck's gold scam and Jones' disaster food, and politicians like Newt, who apparently needed yhe money. There is a huge profit in getting people upset, scared or angry.

We can't forget the Koch brothers invested $400 million in their scams to get Obama out of office. They paid shills to spout BS to get people worked up. Did they believe any of it?

I don't know, but we know that they expected a bigger profit, more control of governments, resources, etc. And they are getting it where their candidates won elections. We can see the payback for buying public office in operation.

What does the Wikileaks organization, or JA if he 'owns' it, get out of this other than $150G a day, more than most Americans or citizens of the world, will ever see in years, much less a day. Was this about money, or as some CT pundits say, just a scam to manufacture consent for more government control of the net?

Honestly, this stuff is way out of my league. Pretty elevated circles here, like the 1%. Think of the lives that could be saved with that money, elections that could be financed, unless we call the slamming of Obama the purpose of this.

What a world.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:01 PM

11. No--Manning chose to have a civilian attorney, who is paid for by a legal fees trust created to

collect non-tax deductible legal fees. Wikileaks gave only 15k to that trust. There is another 'defense fund' run by Courage to Resist that is tax deductible. Without comment, I note the disparity in what was collected:

http://couragetoresist.org/donate/bradley-manning.html


Manning's legal fees trust is not limited by the government. The defense attorney, David Coombs, was able to secure some government attorney assistance, but I do wonder why Courage to Resist, and other fund raising efforts by David House and Jane Hamsher have reaped so little for Manning's actual legal fees.

Perhaps the Manning supporters on this board could explain why so little money has gone to his actual legal fees.....

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:21 PM

12. Thanks! I didn't know about this group, close to a million. From the page:



'Accused Wikileaks Whistle-blower' it says.

Wikileaks should send a good deal of the money they've collected for his defense.

The website says they still need $150k to help with his defense next year.






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Response to freshwest (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:36 AM

16. A million for advocacy...about 50k for actual legal fees.

Courage to Resist, David House's group, and Jane Hamsher have all raised money claiming to "support" or "defend" or "advocate" on behalf of Bradley Manning and yet so little has gone into his actual legal fees trust account.


Why is that ?

One reason could be that legal fees donated to the trust account are not tax deductible. The irony of this makes one chuckle..... in defending anarchy and transparency does one really expect a tax deduction?

What is more likely, to my cynical mind, is a manipulation of the farthest Left by hucksters.

According to wiki leaks they took in 150,000 dollars per day before the credit card blockade. They gave 15,000 dollars to Manning's legal trust fund. So they gave 10 percent of 1 day's take.

I could find no record of actual donations by either David House or Jane Hamsher or their organizations to Manning's legal trust fund. I hope I'm wrong---I hope some of the Manning defenders on this board can show me that they made actual donations to the legal trust fund.

An amazing amount of money has been raised in Manning's name...... And yet so little of it seems to have gone for his legal fees. Why?












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Response to msanthrope (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:32 PM

17. Yes, I have learned a lot from these threads. I wish the Assange love would move over to Manning.

But Manning doesn't have the media machine working for him Assange has, and never will. Real whistleblowers have a lot of grief in their lives, just like those who practice civil disobediance. It's the price that has always been paid.

I've read in some threads that Manning was not as innocent or naive as some of us may have assumed, but to me, he is still a child. The information he released to Wikileaks made them a fortune, but not changed anything on the ground in the war zones. Just made a lot of people hate Obama as POTUS of a nation at war. Here is a picture of Manning, supposedly from April of this year:



And some details of him are at this Wikipedia page:
'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning

These are very serious charges to be facing. Although the government took the death penalty off the table, this young man may not have the freedom to walk among us for years. He volunteered and signed an oath with an organization, like them or not, has very strong restriction on rights most of us take for granted, and which Assange never lived under.

I have begun to find the lack of concern for one and the consuming attention for the other to be like celebrity worship. When one looks at the cash going back and forth, and who is really in danger, it paints a different scenario. I admit I felt a sense of liberation as to what Wikileaks presented itself to be. I felt great sympathy for Assange but with this possibly being just another of these mega business ventures, not so much.

I remember there was some talk of this Jane Hamster in the past and a lot of flame wars over her. If the website looking for donations is also a scam and Manning needs money, perhaps others should find a way to help him. Generally, whisteblowers suffer outside the public eye, the cost to them and their families are great. Media is so fickle and being used against common sense, I agree there are many hucksters. But we are all social beings and need information.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:22 PM

18. He's still facing the death penalty.

The prosecution has not sought the death penalty, but the military judge has the power to give it during the penalty phase.

I'm a criminal defense attorney, and I think he's facing very long odds. He will not be acquitted of all charges, and the charges where the evidence is strongest could keep him in jail for life.

His defense has essentially conceeded guilt, and has moved to mitigation.

The more I know about this kid, the more I think he is Assange's patsy--taken advantage of by him. That does not mean he isn't culpable--he will be held to account for his crimes.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:12 PM

19. Yes. It makes me wonder how much of internet culture and media that he grew up with,

caused Manning to believe some magical transformation was going to take place. If his trial allows media, which I doubt, we'd get to know him better.

At this time, we only have, as with most personalities that are presented for us to view, and caricatures of him and Assange. Some months ago I came to the conclusion he'd been used as a pasty when I considered the real life suffering. He was an informer doomed to be caught up in a media frenzy.

The more the Assange story made headlines, with dire predictions such as Anonymous has threatened TPTB with, and promised to save us, I wondered about the logic of it all. There were a few flags to the less informed on these angles, such as myself, and tremendous emotionalism, looking for arch villains and heroes.

The media creates and destroys, but almost always discounts the daily heroism or rather good deeds done for noble causes, that is never given any attention. Such as my representatives who keep on getting a beating, but have been broad brushed with the many names applied to Democrats.

In the end, we are still more than the sum of whatever is said about us. I have a good friend who is a criminal defense and civil rights attorney, he is a formidable foe to those in the system who run over the lives of others.

Thanks for the information. I still hope there is some leniency here based on Manning's age and possible good intent.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:31 PM

20. Nicely put.

I would hope that Obama could commute his sentence -whatever it may be- before he leaves office. There is military command culpability in this as he gave several warning signs about his instability, which were ignored.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:44 PM

21. His trial will allow media--print media has been to all of the hearings, but you have a

problem with the fact that so much of what is being discussed is still considered classified, and the nature of miltary trials is different--so there's not the trial access that you would have in an Article III court.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:09 PM

22. In the age of video, people may not be paying attention to print, at least the ones we met online.

Perhaps many news articles will be posted here and we can learn something. The classified aspect will really muddy up the coverage. The trial won't be divided into segments media, even print media, will be able use.

There may be a lot of censorship involved, to remove what is said to be classified. I guess there will also be technical issues raised, not really an explanation of intent, goals or the effects of the material released.

This is going to be a very costly trial, I'll bet, and I can't begin to make a guess as to where the information was dumped, how much was a danger to anyone's life, what was trivial, or is now obsolete.

What Manning released may not have changed anything on the ground, just public opinion. Which determines elections. Strange that we have one side savaging Obama, and the other wanting to do worse than what Obama is accused of doing. Yet the ones who benefit from all of this are not revealed to us.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:35 PM

8. Does this mean that credit card companies can second-guess

our choices on political and other contributions and expenditures?

This makes no sense.

Do they stop transfers to banks that launder drug money? Do they stop transfers to anything they disapprove of?

What is the broader meaning of this?

If they can do this to Wikileaks, what movement can't they do it to?

I'm not a Wikileaks donor. Don't want to be one. But . . . . this development is ominous.

The credit card company should not be concerned about where I send money.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:38 PM

10. The credit card companies' policies are primarily designed to protect

the companies themselves, from simple damage to their reputations and from civil or criminal liabilities

It serves Assange's narrative purposes, to claim that Wikileaks is the victim of shadowy governmental interventions, but in fact it also seems possible that the credit card companies' attorneys advised the companies to back away, on the grounds that Wikileaks might be engaged in actionable behavior that might leave the card companies vulnerable in court

As possible examples, one notes:

(1) Assange's gleeful encouraging of rumors that Wikileaks was about to drop a bombshell revelation about the bankm, which had the effect of see-sawing the bank's stock prices -- which might suggest market manipulation

(2) The Wikileaks effort to auction off a sneak-peek at an ambassador's emails, combined with an attempt to pre-notify everyone connected with the emails in any way, that they might be affected -- stinking a bit of extortion

(3) Assange's close associate peddling some stolen embassy cables to the Belorussian dictatorship -- a little game that can be read as a private espionage racket

The complete lack of transparency of Wikileaks itself, as an organization which allegedly promotes transparency, means that such questions cannot be resolved easily. The credit card companies probably don't want to be mixed up in anything like that, which might explain some of the statements we heard:

... "Visa Europe has taken action to suspend Visa payment acceptance on WikiLeaks' Web site pending further investigation into the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules" ... Last week, PayPal also permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks "due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity" ...

MasterCard, Visa Halt WikiLeaks Payments
December 7, 2010 12:15pm EST
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373967,00.asp



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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:25 PM

13. Big stuff. I learn many angles I'd never know from these threads.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:50 PM

14. Yes, that some people defend credit card companies.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:55 PM

15. Six links from me so far in this thread, none from you

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:13 PM

23. Yeah. Hooray for the banksters! hear, hear!

What a shock.

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