Is the United States Engaging In Unlawful Cyber Attacks Against Carriers of Wikileaks?

A day after Amazon was forced to block Wikileaks, the site is again offline in an alleged campaign by the United States to prevent the public from seeing the whistleblower material. This includes a disclosure, discussed last night on Countdown, that the Obama Administration has been misleading the public and actually moved to force Spain to drop its prosecution of American officials for war crimes and torture.

This is the third time that the public has found itself cut off from Wikileaks material. The question is whether the United States is attacking carriers — in this case, Everydns, which cut off Wikileaks at 3am GMT on Friday (10PM EST Thursday). Everydns complained that it did so to prevent its other 500,000 customers of being affected by the intense cyber attacks targeted at WikiLeaks. Wikileaks accuses the United States of the attacks.

An anonymous source has come forward to claim “credit” for cutting off public access to the material. Calling himself “Jester” and a “hackitvist for good,” the individual claims to be a former soldier. It is not clear if such a claim is to be believed or accepted at face value. Here you have someone bragging that he is serving “the good” by preventing other citizens from reading these disclosures on the alleged misconduct of their government. The claim will certainly not end speculation that the widespread problems are being directed or assisted by the government. Moreover, it would be interesting if any of these companies go to court to seek information on this individual as we have seen in recent cases where anonymous individuals have been forced into the open in litigation. It is also curious why the United States government is not using its oft-cited cyber units to find an individual who is allegedly causing such property damage and shutting down parts of the Internet.

The question is, if the allegation is true as many expects assume, what authority does the United States have in conducting dangerous attacks on private companies and endangering thousands of other sites? If the President can order such attacks without legal authority, the government could engage in an obvious form of restraint on free speech — targeting critics and whistleblowers. It would be the equivalent of stopping newspapers from publishing.

The disclosures from Wikileaks have been embarrassing for both Republican and Democrats in Congress — who have joined in calling for prosecution. The disclosures, once again, show the public has been intentionally misled on major policies and that Congress has continued to exercise no oversight in these areas. These disclosures constitute the most extensive record ever produced of how our government routinely misleads the public and engages in activities that conflict with our stated policies and values. It is an indictment of our political system — perhaps the greatest in history. It has led many to question whether our democracy is based a carefully constructed illusion of half-facts and outright lies — routinely denying citizens the true facts in major policy areas. The impression left by these documents is that we have a two-party monopoly that treats citizens as uneducated dolts who should be fed comforting and misleading information while the real actions of our government are confined to the power elite. On issues like torture, Obama has clearly misled the public in his blocking of any investigation into our torture program. He was first challenged before he actually took office when Bush officials revealed that (while campaigning against torture) he secretly promised Bush officials that no one would be prosecuted. We now know that, while claiming to be studying the issue, his Administration was threatening allies if they tried to enforce international law. Putting aside the merits of covering up for war crimes, the Wikileaks disclosure is the latest example of how our leaders now show little restraint in knowingly misleading the public like children who have little ability to understand or need to know the true facts behind U.S. policy. It is the modern version of bread-and-circus politics used by Roman emperors. This is a view that appears shared by leaders in both parties.

The result is that both Congress and the White House are embarrassed and eager to prevent public review of this material. However, there is little discussion of the legality of such cyber attacks directed against a whistleblower and claimed journalist.

What is equally striking is the relative mild reaction of mainstream media. If the New York Times had revealed the Obama Administration’s secret efforts to pressure the Spanish courts to drop its prosecution, it would have been viewed as a major investigative breakthrough. However, there is a discernible hostility in some coverage of Wikileaks and a reluctance to accept the site as either a whistleblowing or journalistic enterprise.

Source: Guardian

Jonathan Turley

84 thoughts on “Is the United States Engaging In Unlawful Cyber Attacks Against Carriers of Wikileaks?”

  1. Dick,

    The only exception I take to your post above is the description of Obama as Marxist. He’s not a Marxist. He’s not even a socialist.

    He’s also a fascist. He’s oppressing your rights by stating blatant Constitutional untruths like he can order the assassination of American citizens without due process (just like Bush suspending habeas corpus and ordering torture) and sucking up to corporations instead of looking out for the interests of all citizens (just like Bush with the only difference being he’s not taking his orders from the family business).

  2. Swarthmore Mom:

    I would say no since he has the secret service and is commander in chief of the most effective military in the world, the government will probably give him a pass.

    If he loses in 2012 it will suck to be him. When he gets to the camps the other Muslims will stone him for putting them in there.

  3. Anon Nurse:

    “Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.”

    You are kidding right? If that is true we are a police state, it’s over and we now have to take our country back.

    I find it fitting that this happened under a democratic administration. In my mind both parties are bad but I think the democrats might be a little worse but only by a small degree.

    Time for an independent party based on Constitutional principles.

  4. Dick: Since so many Americans think President Obama is a Muslim, do you think he will have to go to the camps too?

  5. Jill:

    “As I read on about the suppression of wikileaks on Glen’s site I found something very interesting. DHS wanted a chart of the cables removed. I believe I know why.

    The govt. has been hyping the war on terror to push through a dictatorship. The chart of the cables reveals talk about terrorism was quite far down (and I mean quite far) the list of topics discussed. If terrorism is the crisis that justifies permanent war and dictatorship, why isn’t it first on the list of the cable topics? Does this mean the govt. is being insincere when it claims to be caring the most about fighting terrorism? I would say, most certainly, yes.”

    Some friends and I have been discussing this very issue. We think that this is being used as a way to control the population. The best terrorists they can find are a poor soul with TNT testicles, a young man who couldn’t blow his nose if he had dynamite for brains and then some putz the FBI set up.

    Sounds like a real sophisticated world wide web of terror to me.

    Bush did the right thing in Afghanistan but should have left after a few months. He went into Iraq to avenge daddy and then the Iranians didn’t like it and so here we are with a Marxist president (right after a fascist president) using war to turn the US into a Soviet style state (the fascist president failed to create a fascist state so the Marxists get there chance now), all with the help of democrats and republicans who all have their heads up their asses as they trample our rights.

    Big business is right there with them selling the government anti-terrorist devices that we just “have to have” to “protect” the homeland. It is really sounding like Nazi Germany. I wonder when the Muslims are going to start having to wear a yellow or pink star and crescent?

    Where do you think the first “holding” camps are going to be? My guess is Wyoming or Montana. Dick Chaney will probably rent them the land at a handsome profit.

  6. Jill, those are excellent questions. Until there’s actually some facts presented on them through FOIA (or future leaks) how we mentally answer them depends on our own level of cynicism (or grasp of reality) or optimism. I’m betting yes, the names are on a list by now.

  7. Jill,

    Will Twitter be next?

    Has Paypal turned over Wikileaks donation records to the US government so that supporters can be noted on government watch lists, travel restrictions, tax surveillance, or recorded for potential future prosecution?

    Is US mail to WikiLeaks in Australia and Switzerland being intercepted? Under what authority? Are FedEx and UPS participating in this interception? Will any US corporations be strong enough to rebuff government demands for this privatization of state censorship?

    Are prominent, sympathetic journalists, analysts and bloggers being listed? What will be the consequences to them?

  8. “WikiLeaks Cables Reveal How US Manipulated Climate Accord
    Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord

    by Damian Carrington

    Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage.” see the guardian or

    Wikileaks is a threat, somehow the man who inherited so many disasters from Bush that he can’t deal with climate change or prosecutions of war criminals, has a lot of time and resources to go after anyone who exposes or threatens his corporate donors.

    This clearly, is the rule of fiat at work. This is a totalitarian govt, no better than China.

  9. Dick Luzack,

    The problem isn’t their training as lawyers as many pols never practiced.

    The problem is they’re sociopaths and criminals.

    Their formal training is irrelevant other than a law background will tell them how parts of the mechanisms of government are supposed to work – something that the corrupt and evil can get through OJT.

  10. As PayPal cuts off funding for, “.”activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.” May I now be pressured by DHS to cut off all funding to the US govt. for engaging in all of the above and worse?

  11. Aussie:

    ““We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.””

    That was 50 years ago when the US was still a relatively free country and the venal pricks who run government weren’t so venal nor so prickish.

    Government service is for pogues, if you actually want to be a congressman/senator it should be seen as a character flaw and you should be disqualified.

    They ought to make businessmen, doctors, veterinarians, architects, engineers, etc put their names in a hat and every 4-6 years if your name is picked you can choose to run or not. Pick 4 or 5 names at random from the pool.

    It would be better than we have now, I left lawyers out on purpose. they have made enough mischief already, give another profession the chance to screw things up.

  12. Does anyone know who funds Wikileaks?

    Who benefits from all of this? My take is that Iran and China benefit a good deal.

    Any connections?

  13. Tootie:

    the Judge is very good, he even thinks Bush and Cheney should be tried as war criminals.

  14. Bdaman: What do you mean by “The End” of Obama? We know how Kennedy met the end.

  15. Obama should take a page from JFK’s book:

    Yeah I agree

    The last page where it say’s

    “The End”

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