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The war on WikiLeaks



This was originally published by Facing South, the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies.

  • Year that President Woodrow Wilson called for "open diplomacy" that "shall proceed always frankly and in the public view": 1918

  • Number of secret U.S. diplomatic cables the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks released beginning in November: more than 251,000

  • Number of classified U.S. war files from Iraq that the group leaked in October: 400,000

  • Number of classified war files from Afghanistan it released in July: more than 76,000

  • Date the Justice Department opened an investigation into the leaking of the Afghanistan War documents: July 2010

  • Date when five human rights groups called on WikiLeaks to be more careful about redacting the names of people whose lives could be placed at risk by disclosure: August 2010

  • Date of one diplomatic cable in which the Afghani interior minister urged the State Department to quash a reporter asking about an incident in which Virginia-based war contractor DynCorp threw a party for Afghani police recruits that included a traditional form of child prostitution involving young boys: June 24, 2009

  • Number of official U.S. investigations into DynCorp under way as a result of that incident: 0

  • Date WikiLeaks' website began experiencing what appeared to be denial-of-service Internet attacks: Nov. 28, 2010

  • Date forced WikiLeaks off its web servers after U.S. congressional staffers started asking the company about its relationship with the group: Dec. 1, 2010

  • Date on which the Library of Congress acknowledged that it was blocking access to WikiLeaks: Dec. 3, 2010

  • Date that Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced a bill to amend the U.S. Espionage Act to make it easier for prosecutors to pursue a criminal case against WikiLeaks' Australian founder, Julian Assange: Dec. 2, 2010

  • Date that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said that anything less than execution would be "too kind a penalty" for leaking the State Department documents: Nov. 29, 2010

  • Date that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Assange should not be pursued because "in a free society we're supposed to know the truth": Dec. 2, 2010

  • Month that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who's called for hearings into WikiLeaks, is expected to take over the House Judiciary Committee: January 2011

  • Number of offenses Assange has been formally charged with in the U.S. to date: 0

  • Date on which Assange is accused of committing a crime in Sweden by engaging in consensual sex with his host, Anna Ardin, during which a condom reportedly failed: Aug. 13, 2010

  • Date on which Ardin, during a party she threw for Assange, tweeted that she was sitting with "the world's coolest smartest people, it's amazing": Aug. 15, 2010

  • Date on which Assange had sex with another Swedish woman, an aspiring photographer named Sofia Wilen who afterward reportedly sent text messages bragging about the encounter: Aug. 16, 2010

  • Date that Ardin and the other woman filed a complaint with Swedish police that centered around issues involving condom use: Aug. 20, 2010

  • Date on which Swedish authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Assange related to the sex charges: Nov. 20, 2010

  • Number of criminal offenses that Assange has been formally charged with in Sweden: 0

  • Date on which Assange turned himself in to British police while courts consider extradition: Dec. 7, 2010

  • Estimated portion of Internet references to Assange that now refer to rape: about three-quarters

  • Date on which John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the anti-censorship Electronic Frontier Foundation, tweeted a message that said, "The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops": Dec. 3, 2010

  • Number of hours that elapsed between a British judge's decision to deny Assange bail and the mounting of retaliatory attacks by Internet activists on the websites of multinational companies and others deemed hostile to Assange: 12

  • Number of WikiLeaks' Facebook fans to date: more than 1.1 million

  • Number of people who have signed a petition calling for an end to the crackdown on WikiLeaks and its partners: more than 275,000

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