WikiLeaks: the latest developments
1.20pm: The Dutch home affairs minister, Piet Hein Donner, referred to the Dutch Antilles and Aruba as « Our Malvinas » (Falkland Islands), in a leaked 2005 cable (pdf) published by the Dutch NRC newspaper.
Ahead of a trip to Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, and Curacao for meetings on counter-narcotics cooperation, Donner, then justice minister, also expressed serious concerns about political developments in Venezuela and Chavez’s intentions toward the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which he described as ‘our Malvinas’, » the cable said.
The same cable reveals consistent concerns about Dutch Caribbean possessions:
Rob Swartbol, Prime Minister Balkenende’s senior foreign policy advisor, told Ambassador Sobel on August 1 that the Dutch government is increasingly concerned about Venezuelan President Chavez’ efforts to broaden his influence in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Swartbol acknowledged that for years the Dutch did not take Venezuelan maneuvering seriously, but stressed that « now it is at top of our agenda ». Prime Minister Balkenende has taken a personal interest in the issue, he added [...]
[...] Ambassador Sobel stressed that the US shared Dutch concerns about destabilizing Venezuelan moves in the region. The Dutch, he added, could play a role in encouraging the EU to stand firm against Chavez’s destabilization efforts.
12.50pm: A debate featuring internet thinker Evgeny Morozov on the future of WikiLeaks will be streaming live on the RSA website from 1pm.
11.50am: John Pilger’s interview with Julian Assange for the New Statesman is now online in its entirety.
11.35am: With a You ask, we search request on Botswana, here is Patrick Kingsley with what the cables say about the San:
The forced relocation of indigenous tribespeople by the Botswanan government was condemned by US diplomats as a « special tragedy », leaked US state department cables reveal.
Over 1000 San, also known as bushmen, were relocated to New Xade from the central Kalahari game reserve from 1997-2002 without monetary remuneration, in a move Survival International claimed was motivated by a desire to aid diamond mining.
After visiting New Xade in 2005, ambassador Huggins condemned the manner of the relocation, saying it was « clear that people have been dumped in economically absolutely unviable situations without forethought, and without follow-up support. The lack of imagination displayed on the part of the [Botswanan government] is breathtaking. »
He added that « the special tragedy of New Xade’s dependent population is that it could have been avoided. »
Though New Xade is seventy miles from the nearest main road, the government argued the relocation was necessary to integrate the San into mainstream Botswanan life, as well as to facilitate environmental protection within the central Kalahari game reserve.
In 2006, Botswanan courts ruled the San could return to their land, but also decided the government did not have to provide certain key services.
The San still have no access to the borehole. A hearing was held in June 2010 but the judge dismissed their application. They are now appealing against this decision.
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org with further You ask, we search requests.
11am: Bloomberg has a report on a Pennsylvania-based technology company, Tiversa, that says it has tracked Swedish computers using peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as LimeWire and Kazaa to troll through hard drives for intriguing documents. The company’s suggestion is that there is a WikiLeaks connection since a pdf concerning missiles in Hawaii it says was obtained in this way later appeared on a WikiLeaks mirror site.
Mark Stephens, Assange’s lawyer, told Bloomberg that the claims were « completely false in every regard. » Tiversa has not said who it carried out the research for.
10.40am: Good morning. Welcome to today’s WikiLeaks blog.
• Prosecutors in Switzerland have opened a new criminal investigation into Rudolf Elmer, the former Swiss banker who claims to have handed the details of 2,000 accounts to WikiLeaks.
Rudolf Elmer was arrested for questioning yesterday, hours after he received an eight month suspended sentence and a £4,714 fine for breaking Swiss bank secrecy laws.
The new investigation centres on his trip to London earlier this week, when he gave two data CDs to Julian Assange.
• Daniel Ellsberg – the leaker of the Vietnam-era Pentagon Papers – has « challenged a room full of Silicon Valley movers and shakers to stand up for similar acts of transparency and defiance of the government, » according to a report in the Silicon Valley Mercury.
• A blogpost on Forbes.com thinks the tax collectors at the US Inland Revenue Service will be interested to see what is on Elmer’s CDs