Dec 3, 2010

Glenn Greenwald: Joe Lieberman Emulates Chinese Dictators

By Glenn Greenwald / salon.com
Glenn Greenwald: Joe Lieberman Emulates Chinese Dictators

The comparison of these two passages is so telling in so many ways:

The Washington Post, today:

Revelations by the organization WikiLeaks have received blanket coverage this week on television, in newspapers and on Web sites around the globe. But in parts of the world where the leaks have some of the greatest potential to sow controversy, they have barely caused a ripple.

Authoritarian governments and tightly controlled media in China and across the Arab Middle East have suppressed virtually all mention of the documents, avoiding the public backlash that could result from such candid portrayals of their leaders' views.

In China, the WikiLeaks site has been blocked by the government's "Great Firewall," and access to other sources for the documents has been restricted.  Most Chinese are unable to read the contents of the diplomatic cables. . . .

The Guardian, yesterday:

WikiLeaks website pulled by Amazon after US political pressure

The US struck its first blow against WikiLeaks after Amazon.com pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in reaction to heavy political pressure.

The company announced it was cutting WikiLeaks off yesterday only 24 hours after being contacted by the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's committee on homeland security. . . .

While freedom of speech is a sensitive issue in the US, scope for a full-blown row is limited, given that Democrats and Republicans will largely applaud Amazon's move. . . .

The question is whether he was acting on his own or pressed to do so by the Obama administration, and how much pressure was applied to Amazon. . . .

Lieberman said: "[Amazon's] decision to cut off WikiLeaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies WikiLeaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material. I call on any other company or organisation that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them."

The department of homeland security confirmed Amazon's move, referring journalists to Lieberman's statement.

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