WikiLeaks CableGate: December 16, Day 19

Julian Assange arrives at a court in London for bail proceedings, Dec. 14, 2010.
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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 16, Day 19

Fact: Of the reported 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables it claims to have in its possession, WikiLeaks has released 1,606. That is slightly more than one-half of one percent of the total. They have released 262 new cables since Monday.

[Guardian (U.K.)] India Accused of Systematic Use of Torture in Kashmir

"US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red Cross staff about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables".

[Guardian (U.K.)] Dalai Lama Called for Focus on Climate, Not Politics, in Tibet

"The Dalai Lama told US diplomats last year that the international community should focus on climate change rather than politics in Tibet because environmental problems were more urgent, secret American cables reveal."

[Guardian (U.K.)] US Warned of Hindu Extremist Threat

"Rahul Gandhi, the 'crown prince' of Indian politics, told the US ambassador at a lunch last year that Hindu extremist groups could pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants."

[Guardian (U.K.)] WikiLeaks Cables Show Warming Relationship Between India and US

"Four thousand cables from the US embassy in New Delhi reveal a difficult but increasingly warm relationship between a prickly emerging power anxious about its security despite its size and increasing wealth and a superpower that is keen to be friends but very much on its own terms."

[CBS News] Julian Assange is now free on bail, where he can "smell the fresh air of London again."

Watch: Julian Assange speak after being freed
Gallery: Ellingham Hall, Site of Assange's "Mansion Arrest"

[CBS News] Some of the conditions in Julian Assange's bail agreement required that he provide a fixed address in England, as well as wear an ankle monitor and stay at said fixed address. One of his lawyers, Mark Stephens, has repeatedly referred to his bail conditions as putting him under "mansion arrest." Which mansion, you ask? Assange will be staying at a cozy little 650-acre estate in a Georgian Mansion near England's east coast for the duration of his bail.

[AP] U.S. diplomats in Havana don't expect Fidel Castro's passing to generate any immediate unrest on the communist-run island, or even an upsurge in Cubans seeking to leave, according to a newly released diplomatic cable. Another cable from late last year reveals that Fidel's brother, Raul, expressed an interest in opening a direct dialogue with the White House, but was apparently told any dealings should be conducted through normal diplomatic channels.

[CBS News] A hacker calling himself "Bass" spoke to CBS News partner network Sky News via web video link -- the first time any of the group's members have appeared on camera -- albeit disguised with a facemask and sunglasses. Bass told Sky that Anonymous had mobilized a team of 9,000 volunteers for the last attack, which temporarily brought down the sites of U.S. credit giants MasterCard and Visa, and also disabled the site of PayPal for a matter of hours.

[YouTube] Here's what happened when Hitler discovered that Mark Zuckerberg had beaten Julian Assange for Time Magazine's Person of the Year. (WARNING: Strong Language).

[CBS/AP] An appeal by British prosecutors to deny WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange the strict conditional bail he was granted earlier in the week was struck down by a British judge Thursday. Assange is expected to be released in the coming day. He will take up residence at a friend's expansive home in southern England, then reappear in a London court on Sweden's extradition request early in 2011.

[Sky News]The British judge set to decide Thursday whether Julian Assange should be released on bail has ruled that nobody can Tweet from the courtroom in central London.

British prosecutors are arguing that he should not be released on bail due to the seriousness of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, and the fact that he is not a British national and therefore poses more of a flight risk.

[CBS]An internet hacker claiming to be from the group called Anonymous, which was behind the retaliation attacks on large corporations who dropped services to WikiLeaks, has given some insight into how the group picks its targets, and the scope of their operations.

A hacker calling himself "Bass" spoke to CBS News partner network Sky News via web video link -- the first time any of the group's members have appeared on camera -- albeit disguised with a face mask and sunglasses.

Bass told Sky that Anonymous had mobilized a team of 9,000 volunteers for the last attack, which temporarily brought down the sites of U.S. credit giants MasterCard and Visa, and also disabled the site of PayPal for a matter of hours.

[CBS/AP]Julian Assange was back in a British court Thursday to fight for bail following a week of legal drama which has seen prosecutors challenge a judge's decision to free him. Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens says the $316,000 bail money required by the court is in place, so if the judge overturns the appeal blocking his release, Assange could be freed Thursday and allowed to move into a friend's house in southern England -- under close supervision by British authorities.

The United States is trying to build a conspiracy case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors are searching for evidence of "collusion in his early contacts with an Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the information."

The Times reports that the Justice Department is trying to ascertain whether Assange encouraged or helped Pfc. Bradley Manning, the man alleged to have given the documents to Assange, to release classified information, including military and State Department files. Manning is currently being held in solitary confinement at Quantico.

An online chat log in which Manning supposedly claims to be communicating directly with Assange is being scrutinized as possible evidence of conspiracy.

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."

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

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