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Wikileaks tees up a very large bank

I'm starting to warm up to the guy. From Assange's exclusive interview in -- put down your coffee! -- Forbes:

[FORBES] These megaleaks, as you call them, we haven’t seen any of those from the private sector.

[ASSANGE] No, not at the same scale as for the military.

Will we?

Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.

Is it a U.S. bank?

Yes, it’s a U.S. bank.

One that still exists?

Yes, a big U.S. bank.

The biggest U.S. bank?

No comment.

When will it happen?

Early next year. I won’t say more.

What do you want to be the result of this release?

[Pauses] I’m not sure.

It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level [recall that accounting control fraud, by definition, takes place at the executive level, because only executives control the accounting machinery] in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume.

Usually when you get leaks at this level, it’s about one particular case or one particular violation. For this, there’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron emails. Why were these so valuable? When Enron collapsed, through court processes, thousands and thousands of emails came out that were internal, and it provided a window into how the whole company was managed. It was all the little decisions that supported the flagrant violations.

This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that cames out, and that’s tremendously valuable. Like the Iraq War Logs, yes there were mass casualty incidents that were very newsworthy, but the great value is seeing the full spectrum of the war.

You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.

Well, Assange's going to be in real trouble now. Messing with the government, the military and the State Department is one thing, but when you mess with the banksters, you're messing with the people who own the government. So, watch out. And Julian?

Don't go up in any small planes. Or big ones.

No votes yet


Submitted by jawbone on

other diplomats (credit card numbers, etc.), then she should resign. Think he said that to Time magazine.

Today I heard on the radio that the State Department said it is asked and tasked with things other areas of the government want done, and, while she bears responsibility for what State does, she did not originate this request.

Intersting. I need to find the actual wording on this sort of denial/deflection.

My reactions was that this spying bit, although it had been done under Rice as well, was the kind of thing which would be very bad for Hillary if she were to run for president again. Real Democrats can't do shit like that and just get away with it.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

because she is the SoS. But she didn't send it.

I got a letter once from a past SoS because of a citizenship question. Did the SoS write it, read it, or even sign it? Nope. Comes with the job.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on


What Hillary Clinton Didn't Do

As to the allegation itself: Did Hillary Clinton order diplomats to spy?

The easy answer is -- no, she didn't.

But -- wait. The cable was issued in her name. So isn't she responsible?


In Clinton's case, since the original order was sent to the State Department as an entity (just like it was sent to the Commerce Department as an entity), Clinton's name appears as the originator of the State cable providing further instructions.

The cable itself contains detailed requirements set by analysts at the CIA's National HUMINT Requirements Tasking Center. The HUMINT tasking center is, well, tasked with figuring out what type of intelligence the U.S. government needs and how best to obtain it.


In 2009, the CIA updated its requirements and reissued the directive, which went to all members of the intelligence community, joint intelligence centers of combatant commands, and even to selected cleared personnel representing the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce overseas, as the 8,500-word cable itself makes clear. There is some regret in the Obama administration that the 2009 instruction wasn't more carefully and narrowly tailored, but that's an issue for the intelligence community to sort out, not Clinton, who, in all likelihood, never saw it. (The State Department won't comment on the specific contents of any WikiLeaks cable.)

There's more detail at the link.

So Clinton = part of the Empire is yes, true. But we knew that, so not much of a revelation. (I'm waiting for Assange to call for the resignation of the Sec of Commerce, myself). But Clinton as a particular or anomalous purveyor of the empire, no.

Submitted by lambert on

They should all resign. Heck, they should all be in the docket at The Hague.

How about we keep our eye on the ball, instead of investing energy in political personalities? They're going to do what they do. Let 'em.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Of throwing Ambinder's description out there. By jumping on Clinton's role in this, particularly by putting out the idea that her behavior was both egregious and specific to her, as opposed to systemic (as Hugh implies and those claiming that Clinton will never recover from such "damaging revelations" and she in particular needs to resign are doing), it becomes all about a person/personality, not the system.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i still don't know what to think of the whole entire situation, so i was glad to see what ambinder wrote [i would probably have missed it if you hadn't pointed it out].

Submitted by jawbone on

is the important thing, but he doesn't think it will make much difference either way. True dat. The system finds a worker willing to do its bidding. Otherwise the new secty would be gonzo or not even nominated.

Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange said, "should resign."
Speaking over Skype from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, the WikiLeaks founder was replying to a question by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel over the diplomatic-cable dump that Assange's organization loosed on the world this past weekend. Stengel had said the U.S. Secretary of State was looking like "the fall guy" in the ensuing controversy, and had asked whether her firing or resignation was an outcome that Assange wanted. "I don't think it would make much of a difference either way," Assange said. "But she should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up. Yes, she should resign over that." (My emphasis)

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

as a woman-hater. If he'd been a US cit I am pretty sure he'd be part of the OFB.
Privileged background, huge chip on his shoulder, hero complex.
I'm not against the idea of wikileaks, I think it could do a great deal of good, but Assange himself is someone I would not want to know personally.

Submitted by lambert on

And I'm sure that both the government and the banksters are very, very happy to fund the sideshows and have us focus on them. Just saying. Not to mention the ringmasters of the various sideshows as well.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

But I do hope that the bank dump is something that will actually spur reform & accountability.
Because this state dept dump seems to be mainly trivia.

Submitted by lambert on

... though I haven't been following the story closely due to RL constraints.

And if it's "trivia..." Well, that's an extremely interesting data point, isn't it? I can't judge that story at all -- although I think all bloggers should applaud setting the record straight, it's what we do -- but I know the detail on the banksters well enough to judge that story (and Assange). And I can't wait to see what people like Yves will do with it.

They're moving up the food chain towards the top predators. Clinton, et al, are a lot lower on the chain than the banksters.

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Submitted by okanogen on

That is going to be a lot more difficult to game with disinformation than all of these supposed government document leaks.* Especially because we have more tools to gauge it with, and although I'm skeptical about the entire concept of "reforms and investigations", financial collapse (ala Enron), may be possible and/or far more likely (no less welcome!).

*Prophylactic! Our government spies on friends, enemies and its own citizens, and kills thousands for no reason at all! It is capricious, stupid, and accordingly often works against its own purposes!

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

and look, over there! Sarah Palin, also...

Submitted by jawbone on

as usual, the foreign press is giving them much closer examination and more space than the US MCM has been doing. Today's show covers two stories about Spain about which the leaks have provided new information. Like a US ambassador trying to control the Spanish judicial system. That's pretty hot.

Yesterday, the Guardian newspaper editor David Leigh, overseeing this batch of leaks, said there's much more to come out. "In the coming days, we’re going to see some quite startling disclosures about Russia, the nature of the Russian state and about bribery and corruption in other countries, particularly in Central Asia. We’re going to see a wrath of disclosures about pretty terrible things going on around the world." (Video, audio, and transcript at link.)

"A wrath of disclosures" - interesting phrasing.

Submitted by Hugh on

I believe I saw it at Calculated Risk that the bank was supposed to be BoA, that certainly seems to be the name making the rounds.

I don't understand the defenses of Clinton. If it had just been Rice's name on those spying cables, I doubt anyone would be defending her or saying it wasn't her responsibility. We should hammer Clinton just as we would Rice. Double standards just weaken us and our message.

The cables are important. They show this Administration's obsession with Iran and its nuclear program. At the same time, there is a complete silence about Israel's actual possession of 100-200 nuclear weapons. We see how out of touch Gulf state rulers are with their citizens and how willing they are to use us. We see also what a complete mess Pakistan and Afghanistan are as well as how corrupt their leaderships are. We have a smoking gun over the Administration's acquiescence to the coup in Honduras. And we have State's deep involvement, not just in legitimate data collection, but in espionage. Nor are we through with what the cables contain.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

The latest leaks just validate the absolute venality and corruption of our gov seen in the Iraq leaks, but writ large.

Submitted by lambert on

"We should hammer Clinton just as we would Rice. Double standards just weaken us and our message" (for some definition of "us").

One reason why many, including me, dread the coming primaries.

Submitted by jawbone on

or her accordingly. If something is done as a pass through, without necessariy involving the principal actor, that's one thing. If the principal actor develops and implements policies and actions, those might deserve hammering. If the passthrough action is egregious, then the buck stops at the top.

Also, in this instance, should the Secty of State (and, as Ambinder notes, the Secty of Commerce) be held accountable for a presidentially ordered action (Bush, 2003)? And, if Hillary is to be so held, wny not Commerce, which also was "tasked' with the same type of actions (who is that now....)?

Greenwald links to a Harper's article by Scott Horton which points out a more direct possible action by a Secty of State, this time Condi Rice. This cable brings Rice directly into the line of who knew what when. Ultimately, an innocent German citizen had been detained, renditioned, imprisoned, tortured, starved, until his protestations of innnocence led to the realization he was indeed just a German greengrocer. Then pressure was brought on Germany to not have 13 US government agents arrested. But he was thought to "know too much" and could not be released. Eventually he was.

(This is tied to one of the Spanish reactions to these cables; the first segment on Democracy Now! today.)

The story became widely known, but prior to this document dump Rice's direct knowledge was not known.

Confession: I have to fight against moral relativism and bias when it comes to those I've supported or approved of --or not approved of.

Submitted by lambert on

I don't want to hammer anybody without a good reason!

If accountability is the frame, then the leaks are doing what they are supposed to be doing (foil aside, which is possibly wrong).

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Submitted by Eureka Springs on

is the Dept. of State should change it's name and stated purpose... place it alongside the 16 spook departments we already have and be honest about it.

Kucinich was saying a lot when he proposed a name change (and purpose change) to "Dept of Peace" I heard him and really appreciated him for it with my primary vote.