Thursday, January 19, 2012

DTN News - WIKILEAKS NEWS: Various Articles From International Media Originated From Wikileaks For January 19, 2012

DTN News - WIKILEAKS NEWS: Various Articles From International Media Originated From Wikileaks For January 19, 2012

(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 19, 2012: The international non-profit organization Wikileaks became world renown as a whistleblower publishing submissions of private, secret and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks and whistleblowers.
WikiLeaks states that its "primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behaviour in their governments and corporations".
Here are the news on various subjects on Wikileaks by global media/web/blogs and reactions respectively for DTN News readers and viewers;

2nd officer favors court-martial in WikiLeaks case
Manning allegedly gave more than 700000 secret US documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks for publication. Prosecutors say WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange collaborated with Manning. Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young ...
See all stories on this topic »

WikiLeaks or Sea Shepherd: who are the outlaw heroes in the age of modern ...
The Conversation
Wikileaks deals with human society and uses computer technology to expose what it sees as wrongs by governments. Sea Shepherd deals with marine wildlife and uses direct action to expose what it sees as wrongs by governments. But urbane, well-spoken ...
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Every Bidder Bailed on the WikiLeaks Truck
The Atlantic Wire
Remember how the guy who owns the WikiLeaks truck was going to sell it and use the money to start building a whole fleet of WikiLeaks vehicles? Well, the eBay sale ended last week and all the bidders backed out at the last minute, so that never ...
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The Atlantic Wire
Chase Madar: Accusing Wikileaks of Murder
Pfc. Manning, you will remember, is the young soldier who is soon to be court-martialed for passing some 750000 military and diplomatic documents, a large chunk of them classified, to the websiteWikiLeaks. Among those leaks, there was indeed some ...
See all stories on this topic »Army officer makes 2nd recommendation for court-martial of soldier charged in ...
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Army officer makes 2nd recommendation for court-martial of soldier charged inWikiLeaks case Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
See all stories on this topic »Michael Hastings Talks Assange, WikiLeaks with Charlie Rose (blog)
... his in-depth Julian Assange interview, his new book, The Operators, and the 2010 firing of Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, after Hastings profiled him in Rolling Stone. Bonus points if you can tell how Rose and co-hosts really feel about Assange/WikiLeaks.
See all stories on this topic »Julian Assange Blasts New York Times And Bill Keller In Rolling Stone Profile
Huffington Post
In a profile with Rolling Stone released on Wednesday, Assange sat down with contributing editor Michael Hastings to discuss the Wikileaks scandal and his upcoming extradition trial in early February. Assange, who founded the whistleblower website ...
See all stories on this topic »The constant drip, drip, drip of WikiLeaks
Kyiv Post (subscription)
New revelations by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks show that US officials shared concerns that many have had about Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko, the man once again representing Ukraine in important negotiations with Russia on natural gas supplies. ...
See all stories on this topic »US cables show skepticism, warnings about Yanukovych
Kyiv Post
The cables, recently released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks, give an insight into the inner workings of Ukraine's political and business world from a string of top Ukrainian officials, opposition figures, oligarch businessmen and civil society ...
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Choking off free speech on the web
The Hindu
The attempt to introduce strong-arm measures must be viewed against the backdrop of a persistent effort in the US to use judicial processes to access personal data about individuals abroad using services such as Twitter, in the wake of the WikiLeaks ...
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The Hindu
Chase Madar: Accusing WikiLeaks of murder — War in Context
By TomDispatch
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called it “utterly deplorable.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed “total dismay.” General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was “deeply disturbed” that the actions in question would ...
War in Context
Daily Kos: Chase Madar: Accusing Wikileaks of Murder
By (TomDispatch)
The troves of documents leaked to the website WikiLeaks, for which Army Pfc. Bradley Manning has been charged, certainly caused a stir, but the carnage in them was, in truth, easily available without access to a single secret document.

WikiLeaks' 16th minute | Jack Shafer
After the diplomatic cable stories petered out, so did WikiLeaks. What Assange's spree demonstrates is the extreme dependency of leakers on strong institutions ...
2nd officer favors court-martial in WikiLeaks case –
An analyst charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history is a step closer to a general court-martial.
*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - ISLAMIC MILITANTS: A Hezbollah Threat In Thailand?

DTN News - ISLAMIC MILITANTS: A Hezbollah Threat In Thailand?
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Stratfor  
 (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 19, 2012:  On Jan. 12, Thai authorities arrested a man they say was a member of the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group Hezbollah who was plotting an attack in Bangkok. In uncovering the plot, Thai police cite cooperation with the United States and Israel going back to December 2011. Bangkok is indeed a target-rich environment with a history of terrorist attacks, but today Hezbollah and other militant and criminal groups rely on the city as more of a business hub than anything else. If Hezbollah or some other transnational militant group were to carry out an attack in the city, it would have to be for a compelling reason that outweighed the costs.

The suspect was identified as Atris Hussein, who was born in Lebanon but acquired Swedish citizenship and a passport after marrying a Swedish woman in 1996. Hussein was arrested on immigration charges as he was trying to board a plane at Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok's main international airport. Police said another suspect is still at large and possibly already out of the country. Hussein's arrest on Jan. 12 was followed by a statement the next day from the U.S. Embassy warning U.S. citizens in Bangkok of the potential foreign terrorist threat in the country and encouraging them to avoid tourist areas. Other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Israel, issued similar warnings. Thai police have responded by increasing security in tourist areas like Bangkok's Khao San Road and the island of Phuket.
Then, on Jan. 16, some 200 Thai police officers searched a three-story commercial building in a town along the coast 32 kilometers (about 20 miles) southwest of Bangkok. Information on the location and contents of the building was said to have been provided by Hussein after two days in custody. On the second floor of the building, officers found 4,380 kilograms (about 10,000 pounds) of urea-based fertilizer and 38 liters (about 10 gallons) of liquid ammonium nitrate -- enough materials to construct several truck bombs comparable to the one detonated at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad in 2008. Urea fertilizer can be used to manufacture the improvised explosive mixture urea nitrate, which was the main charge used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The compound is also frequently used in improvised explosive devices in Iraq and to some extent in Afghanistan. On the ground floor of the same building, police found reams of printing paper and 400 electric table fans in cardboard boxes.
The following day, a Bangkok court charged Hussein with illegal possession of explosive materials. As in many other countries, a permit is required for handling such large amounts of fertilizer in Thailand.
Since Hussein's arrest and the police raid, a flurry of statements from Thai authorities have given contradictory accounts of what happened. Gen. Yuthasak Sasiprapha, Thailand's defense minister, seemed comfortable connecting the U.S. and Israeli warnings to the arrest and seizure, stating that Hussein and other conspirators were linked to Hezbollah and had chosen Bangkok as part of a plan to retaliate against Israel. The general speculated that the Israeli Embassy, synagogues, tour companies and kosher restaurants could be targeted.
The defense minister's speculations are logical. In 2010, Thailand received 120,000 Jewish tourists, and Bangkok itself has a large Jewish community, complete with a Chabad house (a Jewish cultural center and one of the targets in the 2008 Mumbai attacks). According to its website, the Israeli Embassy is located in a commercial office building with (from what we can tell from photographs) relatively little perimeter security. Hundreds of thousands of Americans also visit Thailand each year. At the same time, the United States and Israel are engaged in a covert war with Iran that has most recently seen the assassination of an Iranian scientist allegedly involved in the country's nuclear program. Since Hezbollah has been considered a proxy of Iran, the United States and Israel have long anticipated reprisal attacks from Iran via Hezbollah against U.S. or Israeli targets around the world.
While there are certainly plenty of U.S., Jewish and Israeli targets in Thailand in general and Bangkok in particular, other officials have given different accounts of the alleged plot that add more nuance. According to National Police Chief Priewpan Damapong, Hussein insisted that the materials seized were not intended for attacks in Thailand but were going to be transported to a yet-to-be-named third country (a Stratfor source has cited the Philippines as a logical destination). He also allegedly told authorities that, although he was a member of Hezbollah, he was not a member of the group's militant arm. A Hezbollah official in Beirut, Ghaleb Abu Zainab, told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. that Hussein was not a Hezbollah member, while Stratfor sources have told us that he was. Our sources also have confirmed Hussein's reported confession to police that he was on the business side of things -- likely involved in procurement and logistics -- rather than the militant side, which involves such things as bombmaking or operational planning. As a Swedish passport holder, Hussein would have much more access to business connections, so it makes sense that Hezbollah would want to compartmentalize his skills.
Most other official statements since Gen. Sasiprapha's have focused on softening the threat and mitigating the damage done to Thailand's tourism industry. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called on the United States to revoke its warning, saying it will damage the country if it is prolonged. Hence, it is not surprising that tidbits released from Hussein's purported interrogation have moved the spotlight away from the domestic threat and focused more on targets abroad.
The historical record shows ample precedent for attacks by foreign extremists in Bangkok. In 1972, members of Black September took over the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok and held diplomats hostage there for 18 hours. In 1988, Hezbollah gunmen hijacked Kuwait Airways Flight 422, which was departing Bangkok for Kuwait City, in an effort to coerce the Kuwaiti government to release the "al-Dawa 17," a group of Shiite militants being held in Kuwait. And in 1994, a truck laden with explosives was en route to attack either the U.S. or Israeli Embassy (the investigation did not yield conclusive results) when a traffic accident disrupted the plot. Bangkok has long been on the map for terrorist operational planners.
During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Hezbollah and other groups conducted dozens of attacks targeting Jews, Israel and Israel's allies around the world. However, over the past decade, Hezbollah has become a more serious political party in Lebanon, and while its international network is still in place, its activities are increasingly focusing on illicit business ventures rather than terrorist attacks. The shell corporations and drug-smuggling networks that for years provided the means to fund ideological terrorist operations have, in many ways, become the end itself. Hezbollah members who have grown rich off the international network are more interested in spending the cash from the network and building up political patronage at home than in provoking powerful enemies abroad. For example, Bangkok is a hub for acquiring counterfeit documents, which are a lucrative commodity around the world and part of Hezbollah's criminal enterprise. Conducting an attack in Bangkok would likely disrupt a node in the network and ultimately affect the group's bottom line.
Thus, Hezbollah's profile and set of interests support Hussein's reported claims that the bombmaking materials that police found were being moved out of the country and were not intended for use in Bangkok or other tourist locations in Thailand.
Other details from the case support this scenario. The fertilizer was to be hidden in the 400 table fan boxes found in the same building, a move conducive to smuggling the fertilizer, not constructing explosive devices. The sheer amount of fertilizer (nearly 5 tons) is a wholesale amount. The largest vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in recent history have contained about a ton of fertilizer. The device used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing consisted of about 1,300 pounds of urea nitrate. Constructing and delivering bombs larger than that tends to create technical and logistical hitches. It is much more likely that such a large amount of fertilizer would be meant for multiple smaller or medium-sized devices.
While urea-based fertilizer and ammonium nitrate are key ingredients for the main charge of a VBIED, many more materials are required to make it a viable device, including nitric acid, which must be mixed with urea-based fertilizer to make urea nitrate. (Urea nitrate is highly corrosive and has typically been mixed and held in plastic industrial chemical drums. While cardboard boxes would be fine for holding the urea-based fertilizer, they certainly would not be heavy-duty enough to contain the urea nitrate mixture.) In the Bangkok case, there has been no mention of other important bombmaking components such as fuses, timing mechanisms or detonating charges or of a competent bombmaker to put it all together.
In other words, while some of the materials to make a bomb were present in the commercial building that police raided, there was no viable device there. Nor has there been any mention of weapons such as rifles, handguns or grenades, which are often (although certainly not always) involved in terrorist attacks. Some media sources alleged that Hussein was plotting a "Mumbai-like" attack, which would have required a stash of automatic rifles, ordnance, communication devices and other tactical tools that have yet to surface.
Just as Bangkok is an attractive business hub in Southeast Asia for legitimate businessmen, it is also an attractive hub for illicit businessmen. In 2008, Thai police arrested Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout after agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla group trying to negotiate a deal to buy weapons, incriminated Bout during a meeting in Bangkok. It appears that Hussein's role in this case would have been an administrative one similar to Bout's: sourcing the fertilizer, finding a place to stockpile it and concealing it in innocent-looking fan boxes. This would not make him any less guilty of assisting a militant group, but it would deflate the theory that Hezbollah was plotting to use this material in an immediate attack in Bangkok.
This is not to say that Hezbollah or some other militant group will not conduct an attack in Bangkok in the future. But it would take a lot to convince group leaders that the financial pain of an attack in the city would be worth the ideological gain. And the recent alleged plot should remind investigators and policymakers to remember the financial bottom line as well as the ideological bottom line when assessing future terrorist threats.

*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: How China Is Advancing Its Military Reach

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: How China Is Advancing Its Military Reach
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources BBC News
 (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 19, 2012: As the US shifts its focus to Asia, Alexander Neill, head of the Asia Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute, sets out the Chinese military advances challenging the regional balance.

At the Pentagon recently, US President Barack Obama announced deep cuts to the US military and set out a shift in attention towards the Asia-Pacific region, in a thinly-veiled message to China.
Despite a narrative of peaceful intent, China's leaders have struggled to reassure the US over the direction of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Both countries admit that their military dialogue falls well behind other aspects of the relationship.
So the shift has brought renewed scrutiny of the PLA's latest capabilities against US dominance in the Pacific.
In recent years the PLA has demonstrated impressive new capabilities at sea and in space, aimed at showcasing the success of its modernisation effort.
The obvious message is to deliver a powerful warning if Taiwan were to declare formal independence.
But Pentagon planners are now concerned that the Taiwan contingency has been eclipsed by China's broader maritime territorial claims and demands for more international space to protect the arteries feeding China's growth.
'Unrestricted warfare'
China is developing a range of capabilities linked to the space and cyber domain in order to sidestep the overwhelming might of the US military in the Pacific region. The PLA calls this fighting "local wars under informationised conditions".
Long March 2F (Getty)China took the first step towards a space station when it launched the Tiangong 1 module
China recognised almost two decades ago that in the mid-term the PLA could be no match for US conventional forces. So it began working on what was dubbed "unrestricted warfare" - combining multiple methods to defeat a superior opponent.
At the same time party leaders launched adventurous civilian acquisition projects in the high-tech domain to increase Chinese competitiveness and to boost indigenous production capabilities.
The PLA has been running military projects mirroring these civilian acquisition ventures. Sometimes involving dual-use technologies, the military and civilian strands have often been indistinguishable.
China's space programme is a case in point. The recent successful docking manoeuvre between a Shenzhou module and the Tiangong Space station is as much a triumph for the PLA as it is for China's civilian space agency.
Space theatre
Should the US ever intervene in a cross-strait clash or challenge China's maritime claims, Beijing would employ a pre-emptive "sea denial" strategy alongside its conventional operations - preventing US battle carrier groups operating in or near its claimed territorial waters.
Its submarine-launched ballistic and cruise missiles are now a lethal force. China's long-range nuclear weapons systems have also undergone significant upgrades and its strategic rocket force, the Second Artillery Corps, is very much the pride of the PLA.
One of the most pressing concerns for the US navy is the threat posed by a "carrier killer" anti-ship missile with enhanced targeting capabilities facilitated from space. China very recently launched its own Beidou Positioning System, challenging the monopoly of the US Global Positioning System (GPS).
One of the PLA's most sensitive advances has been the secret deployment and testing of advanced anti-satellite (ASAT) and Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) weapons systems.
Two years ago, China successfully intercepted one of its own ballistic missiles as it streaked through space. This test coincided with the Pentagon's sale of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Patriot systems to Taiwan.
Some experts believe a Chinese ASAT campaign against a careful selected group of US satellites could have catastrophic effect on the US military.
This capability, combined with the potential for China to develop its own Ballistic Missile Defence umbrella, suggests that the space domain will be a new theatre for US-China rivalry.
Chinese ASAT capabilities are not exclusively reserved for "kill vehicles", like the one which obliterated an ageing Chinese weather satellite in 2007.
It is now believed that the successful 2007 "kill" was in fact the third test in a series. Previous tests had demonstrated an ability to manoeuvre in proximity to targeted satellites.
This would suggest that China has experimented with techniques which could be used for "space mining", where mines or mini-satellites armed with jamming technologies could be placed within the orbits of an opponent's spacecraft.
Carrier group
In addition to its "sea denial" and space warfare strategies, China is also expanding its conventional capabilities.
The PLA Air Force in recent years has extended its ability for offshore operations, enhancing an offensive capability. It is planning an overhaul of its ageing fleet with the deployment of over 3,000 new aircraft.
China's aircraft carrier is seen under construction in Dalian, Liaoning province (April 2011) (above) and on Google Maps (below)China first aircraft carrier began sea trials in 2011
For the most part China has relied on copying Russian fighter technology. However, the roll-out of the Chengdu J-20 Stealth fighter prototype raised eyebrows last year, carefully timed to coincide with a visit by the US defence secretary.
There have been some very significant developments in the deployment of Chinese submarines in recent years. Beijing possesses 10 Russian-built ultra-quiet Kilo class submarines possibly armed with 200km-range anti-ship cruise missiles.
Since 2006, when a Chinese submarine surfaced undetected within torpedo range of the US aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, China's submarine force has regularly marauded the US Navy and its allies in the Pacific.
It is thought that China plans to build three aircraft carrier battle groups, each armed with 40 fighters, up to eight warships, three nuclear-powered attack submarines and a number of support vessels. The PLA Navy's retrofitted Varyag carrier, currently under sea-trials, will serve as a training platform.
Even if the aircraft carrier would likely be a prestige piece and more directed at Chinese domestic pride, the prospect of a Chinese aircraft carrier will certainly cause ripples for the broader East Asian naval balance.
Uncertain factors
While much attention has been paid to the breakneck speed of Chinese military modernisation over the last decade, the events of 9/11 and the subsequent campaigns in the Middle East and Afghanistan provided a window of opportunity for China to accelerate development.
In some cases there may have been, quite literally, windfalls for the PLA. There is speculation that China acquired undamaged Tomahawk cruise missile components in the early stages of the Afghanistan campaign a decade ago.
When US special forces failed to completely destroy one of their stealth helicopters during Operation Geronimo, Pakistan's military may have allowed PLA counterparts to inspect the tail rotor.
The PLA must be congratulating itself on the impressive array of weaponry which has tilted the balance in the Taiwan Strait in its favour.
China's new-found capabilities combined with the opaque nature of its military modernisation create a formula for mistrust with the US.
There are perhaps three factors for uncertainty. Firstly, the Chinese military's confidence in its new equipment could lead to an overestimation of its capability as an emerging great power.
Secondly, the Chinese leadership could underestimate its ability to control an unexpected escalation of hostilities in the Pacific.
Finally, the domestic political factor - the PLA's external behaviour could become a reaction to internal nationalistic sentiment, instability or faction fighting as Beijing prepares for the fifth generation leadership handover this year.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources BBC News
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News