Alex Constantine - December 19, 2012
‘US right-wing censoring world media’ - WikiLeaks
In a statement released by WikiLeaks Julian Assange said: “There is no sovereignty without economic sovereignty. Hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure VISA and MasterCard, who together hold monopoly over the European market, into introducing a blockade that the U.S. Treasury has rightly rejected. These unaccountable elements are directly interfering in the political and economic freedoms of EU consumers and are setting a precedent for political censorship of the world's media.”
By John Robles
Voice of Russia, November 27, 2012
According to sources in WikiLeaks and in a press release on Tuesday, the primary movers behind the extrajudicial banking blockade against WikiLeaks are extremist members of the US right-wing. Documents obtained by WikiLeaks from MasterCard Europe show that Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King were in contact with MasterCard in the US and bragged of being behind WikiLeaks service being blocked by such sites as Amazon.
Julian Assange spoke out on the matter, underlining how seriously illegal moves by the US are interfering with WikiLeaks and how they are infringing on the sovereignty of the world: “There is no sovereignty without economic sovereignty. It is concerning that hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure VISA and MasterCard, who together hold monopoly over the European market, into introducing a blockade that the US Treasury has rightly rejected. These unaccountable elements are directly interfering in the political and economic freedoms of EU consumers and are setting a precedent for political censorship of the world's media.”
WikiLeaks’ latest press release states that Senator Lieberman’s efforts included attempting to pass the SHIELD Act and advocating for the prosecution of the New York Times for espionage in connection with WikiLeaks' releases. Representative Peter King, the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, attempted to have WikiLeaks designated as a foreign terrorist organization, list WikiLeaks staff as “enemy combatants” and enter the organization on a US Treasury blacklist, further damaging the organization financially. Having failed to manipulate US law for their own ends, the pair then proceeded on a campaign of extra-judicial measures to hurt WikiLeaks any way they could and used Visa and MasterCard to do so.
Although the European Commission is not planning to open a formal investigation of VISA, MasterCard and American Express’ violations against DataCell, according to a 16-page preliminary decision, on the 19th of November 2012, the European Parliament did take a step in the right direction towards protecting Europeans from external infringement on their economic sovereignty. Article 32 of the November resolution by the European Parliament directs the European Commission to prevent the arbitrary manipulation of credit card payments, such as that by Lieberman and King, which damage businesses and organizations, in particular WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks also reveals that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard intentionally misled the European Commission by making statements that the publication of diplomatic cables was "illegal", something not supported by an investigation by the Australian Federal Police. Subsequently the Australian Senate passed a resolution demanding Gillard retract the false statement, something she yet to do.
Documents obtained by WikiLeaks from MasterCard reveal the company’s willingness to circumvent international law for their own political ends and show that the company holds right-wing views despite the widespread global condemnation of the US illegal resource invasions. MasterCard documents released by WikiLeaks state: “It is evident that any affiliation with an organization causing damage to the national interests of several nations involved in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ... will be extremely damaging for the public perception of MasterCard”.
Not only is the extra-judicial blockade of WikiLeaks illegal under European Union Article 19, international law and the laws of countries where WikiLeaks financial support mechanisms are located, including Iceland but it has been condemned by organizations and individuals worldwide including the United Nations Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Speech, the New York Times Editorial Board, the German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung, and news publications and organizations worldwide.
According to WikiLeaks number 2 Kristinn Hrafnsson, in several conversations I had with him, WikiLeaks’ is not only fighting for itself but for the freedom of all press and news organizations. Kristinn Hrafnsson says WikiLeaks is hurting bad but the fight will go on.