WikiLeaks CableGate: December 15, Day 18

Julian Assange arrives in court in London for bail proceedings Tuesday.
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Check and update this page often for the latest news and views on the WikiLeaks saga, as well as our special report.

DECEMBER 15, Day 18

Fact: Of the reported 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables it claims to have in its possession, WikiLeaks has released 1,532. That is slightly more than one-half of one percent of the total. They have released 188 new cables since Monday.

[Guardian (U.K.)] BP Suffered Blowout on Azerbaijan Gas Platform

"Striking resemblances between BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm only 18 months before have emerged from leaked US embassy cables."

[Guardian (U.K.)] Thai Leaders Doubt Suitability of Prince to Become King

"Thai leaders harbour grave misgivings about the crown prince's fitness to become king owing to his reputation as a womaniser and links to a fugitive former prime minister, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable."

[Guardian (U.K.)] Chevron Discussed Oil Project with Tehran, Claims Iraqi PM

"The US energy firm Chevron negotiated with Tehran about developing an Iraq-Iran cross-border oilfield in spite of tight US sanctions, according to the Iraqi prime minister in leaked diplomatic cables."

[Guardian (U.K.)] BP Accused by Azerbaijan of Stealing Oil Worth $10bn

"The president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing billions of dollars of oil from his country and using 'mild blackmail' to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region, according to leaked US cables."

[Guardian] Scotland Yard is investigating Anonymous for the group's alleged attacks on alleged WikiLeaks foes. The group launched denial of service attacks - which paralyze sites with unwanted traffic and are illegal in the UK - against Mastercard, Visa and Paypal, among others, under the moniker "Operation Payback" after those organizations stopped processing payments for WikiLeaks.

Most recently, the website of Swedish prosecutors was taken down for around 11 hours overnight as they continue to investigate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for possible sex crimes.

According to the Guardian, British authorities have been tracking Anonymous' alleged criminal behavior for several months leading up to the spate of attacks that appeared to reach a crescendo last week.

[CBS News] His trial is nowhere near beginning, but Bradley Manning is allegedly already being treated like a threat by his military jailers. The Army private who told a friend he was responsible for downloading and passing on the government documents that made WikiLeaks famous is being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day in Quantico, Va., without a pillow or blankets, according to a report from Salon.

[AP] Freedom of information advocates are hailing a U.K. judge's decision to allow Tweeting from the courtroom during Julian Assange's bail hearing. Traditionally, western courts do not allow any record taking during trials in courtrooms except by the official court reporter.

[Reuters] A cyber attack took down the website of the Swedish prosecutor's office for around 12 hours overnight, spokeswoman Karin Rosander said.

Swedish authorities are probing a sex crimes case involving Assange, which has put them in the crosshairs of pro-WikiLeaks hackers. It is not the first such attack against the prosecutor's site.

[AP] As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spends another day in a British prison Wednesday, his lawyers are struggling to assemble bail money for him, which the High Court in London wants to see up front and in cash.

Assange's British lawyer, Mark Stephens, said he had about half the amount raised by Wednesday, despite getting pledges for donations from British and American celebrities, including filmmaker Michael Moore.

[AP] WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will spend at least one more night in a British prison. Court officials say an appeal against a judge's decision to grant him bail will be heard on Thursday at the High Court in London. The court said further details would be arranged later Wednesday.

On Tuesday a judge ordered Assange released on $316,000 bail, but Swedish prosecutors challenged the decision.

Assange has spent a week in prison following his surrender to British police over a Swedish sex-crimes warrant. He denies any wrongdoing but has refused to voluntarily surrender to Sweden's request to extradite him for questioning.

DECEMBER 14, Day 17

Fact: Of the reported 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables it claims to have in its possession, WikiLeaks has released 1,447. That is slightly more than one-half of one percent of the total. They have released 103 new cables since Monday.

[Guardian (U.K.)] Corrupt Ghana Police Tip-Off Cocaine Smugglers

"A British operation to stem the flow of cocaine through Ghana has been beset by corruption, with local drug police sabotaging expensive scanning equipment and tipping off smugglers to avoid detection, leaked US embassy cables reveal."

[Guardian (U.K.)] U.S. Fears Over West African Cocaine Route

Click here to see more WikiLeaks news from Tuesday and before.

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