21 January 2011

scanning cables from our embassy in moscow

[click image — the link, here, is acting strangely. If it doesn't bring up the Moscow cables, you should click in the sidebar for them....]


I wonder that Russia doesn't just oust our "diplomats"... so... now... er... but this bit:
Founder of the controversial website WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been granted a Russian visa and plans to visit the country soon.

The visit may happen in a couple of weeks, reports the Russian News Service citing WikiLeaks supporter and friend of Assange, Israel Shamir. No details of the agenda and schedule have been disclosed. However, by that time a Russia-based pro-WikiLeaks NGO currently being established is likely to get its official registration.

Assange is now in Great Britain, where he faces possible extradition to Sweden. The Scandinavian country wants him for alleged sex crimes. With the next court hearing scheduled for February 7, Assange may be able to visit Russia in three weeks, but only if the Swedish extradition request is turned down by Britain.

WikiLeaks gained worldwide publicity in 2010 after making public thousands of confidential documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the diplomatic cables of the US State Department.
is darn thought-provoking, no?


I find I can't quit associating this bit of news with the handover of Swiss banking documents earlier this week.
As a July 1, 2009 [State Department] cable released by Norway’s Aftenposten [and WikiLeaks] makes clear, the US and Switzerland included the acceptance of three Gitmo detainees and a settlement in a suit accusing UBS of harboring tax cheats–along with an effort to shut down a Swedish company’s business with Iran–in negotiations “resolving all issues between our countries.” ...

One of the recipients of the cable was Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.

Mind you, the Swiss minister in question has denied there’s a “direct link.” So maybe not a direct quid pro quo — just Switzerland “indirectly” doing us two big favors in exchange for our DOJ limiting how many of the rich tax cheats we pursue in Switzerland. But the favors may go both ways: among those reportedly involved in the UBS scandal were American politicians. ...

But not long after the negotiations, we sentenced the whistleblower in the case, Bradley Birkenfeld, to 40 months in prison. ... [T]here’s a bunch of sealed documents in it starting the month before this [] cable and continuing up to the point where the judge gave Birkenfeld more time in prison than prosecutors requested.
Those cables from our Ambassador to Russia were chock full of the very nastiest allegations of government corruption, purporting financial perfidies of almost every description by Russian officials. So I'm wondering if maybe, say, RIA Novosti or RT might not want to be negotiating to release the Swiss banking documents....

Just a thought... a daydream of poetic justice....

love, 99

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