Only last year, the Vice President of Afghanistan, Ahmad Zia Massoud was stopped and questioned when he fleww
into the Emirate with a suitcase containing $52,000,000 in cash. He was allowed to go his way with out explaining where the money came from.
Vast amounty of cash flow from Afghanistan to Dubai on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. Before the August 20th Presidential election, $600,000,000 in banking system withdrawals were reported and in recent months, as much as $200,000,000.
Couriers are said to usually carry the money on Pamir Airlines, which is jointly owned by Kabul Bank and influential Afghans such as Mahmood Karzai, one of the president's brothers, and Mohammad Fahim, a Tajik warlord who was Hamid Karzai's vice-presidential running mate in the August 2009 election.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of Afghanistani corruption that has been exposed in the current Wilileaks releases.
Other cables provide graphic detail of such "wealth extraction" on the part of the governors of key provinces in eastern Afghanistan. Usman Usmani, governor of Ghazni, and Juma Khan Hamdard, governor of Paktiya, are accused of systemic corruption, theft of public funds and extorting money from construction contractors on a regular basis.
"Credible sources indicate that some of the most senior government officials in [Ghazni] province have chronically engaged in significant corrupt acts: embezzling public funds, stealing humanitarian assistance, and misappropriating government property, among others," one cable says, basing its conclusions on interviews with a wide range of law enforcement officials and other citizens.
"The consistency and scope of explicit and detailed allegations lends veracity to charges that pervasive corruption defrauds the people of meaningful government services and significantly undermines popular support for the Afghan government."
Where does this money come from? You, the American taxpayer, of course. This was money payed in aid and to contractors which was looted by the corrupt Afghan administration.
But you would have never known this if not for Wikileaks.
So let's look at the outrage directed at Wilileaks and who is the most outraged. In America,Joe Lieberman and the GOP wants to shut it down and prosecute it. Lieberman is freaked because the revelations about Israel are potentially mortal. The GOP is afraid of the chain of corruption leading to the very top of their hierarchy.
They use the excuse that Wikileaks is dangerous to our security. The revelations put Americans and our allies in danger.
Do you have that principle down? If "a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail" because of the WikiLeaks disclosure -- even a "single one" -- then the entire WikiLeaks enterprise is proven to be a "disaster" and "Assange is a criminal" who "should be in jail." That's quite a rigorous moral standard. So let's apply it elsewhere:This is the front line of the new information war. In an article today on RAWSTORY entitled Free Speech Has A Number: '184.108.40.206'. Just in 24 hours, we have seen:
What about the most destructive "anarchic exercise in 'freedom'" the planet has known for at least a generation: the "human disaster" known as the attack on Iraq, ? That didn't result in the imprisonment of "a single foreign national," but rather the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, the displacement of millions more, and the destruction of a country of 26 million people. Are those who supported that "anarchic exercise in 'freedom'" -- or at least those responsible for its execution -- also "criminals who should be in jail"?
How about the multiple journalists and other human beings whom the U.S. Government imprisoned (and continues to imprison) for years without charges -- and tortured -- including many whom the Government knew were completely innocent, while Klein assured the world that wasn't happening? How about those responsible for the war in Afghanistan with its checkpoint shootings of an "amazing number" of innocent Afghans and civilian slaughtering air strikes, or the use of cluster bombs in Yemen, or the civilian killing drones in Pakistan? Are those responsible for the sky-high corpses of innocent people from these actions also "criminals who should be in jail"?
The site has relocated to Switzerland, and is now available at Wikileaks.ch. Read more about the move at the New York Times here. Service on the domain was spotty by mid-Friday.
Second update: Since being kicked off Amazon's cloud, WikiLeaks had been hosted in-part by French firm OVH. French Industry Minister Eric Besson said Friday in a letter seen by Reuters that the government was investigating a way to ban French servers from hosting WikiLeaks.
Third update: DNS service to WikiLeaks.ch has been cut off, according to published reports. The site is now only accessible via an IP address:220.127.116.11. Mirrors pointing to the address have popped up at WikiLeaks.de, WikiLeaks.fl, WikiLeaks.nl.
Fourth update: US Library of Congress blocks staff, visitors from accessing WikiLeaks, citing 'potential malicious content'.
Final update: Electronic Frontiers Foundation co-founder says 'The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops.
They can knock out Wikileaks, but the information is out there. The biggest reason for the offensive might just be the upcoming bombshell that is aimed at the American banking industry. I believe Assange is a hero and that he is just the beginning of a new age of information and changing the way we conduct ourselves as an open information world society.