How WikiLeaks Revelations Affect CCR Cases and Advocacy Work

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WikiLeaks Docs and CCR Cases and Advocacy

Despite criminal investigations by the United States and other governments into the release of thousands of classified United States files and military documents by Wikileaks in July 2010, it is not clear that media organizations like Wikileaks can be prosecuted in the U.S. in light of First Amendment. Outraged politicians are claiming that the release of government information is the criminal equivalent of terrorism and puts innocent people’s lives at risk. Many of those same politicians authorized the modern equivalent of carpet bombing of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, the sacrifice of thousands of lives of soldiers and civilians and drone assaults on civilian areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Their anger at a document dump, no matter how extensive, is more than a little suspect.

Information about government contributes to a healthy democracy. Transparency and accountability are essential elements of good government. Wikileaks has the potential to make transparency and accountability more robust in the US. That is good for democracy.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) believes that the U.S. has been going in the wrong direction for years by classifying millions of documents as secrets. Wikileaks and other media which report these so called secrets will embarrass people yes. Wikileaks and other media will make leaders uncomfortable yes. But embarrassment and discomfort are small prices to pay for a healthier democracy.

On this page you can find information on how WikiLeaks revelations affect CCR’s cases and advocacy work, and see new relevant documents as they to come to light.

Dangerous U.S. Government Policy Towards Coup in Honduras

Throughout the last year, CCR has been involved in advocacy regarding the human rights situation in Honduras. We have advocated against the US government’s current policy towards Honduras which we consider dangerous in that it rewards illegal, anti-democratic and violent regime change. We are actively working to support the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) and the True Commission established by the Honduran Human Rights Platform. Read more ...

PDF document icon US Government Analysis of Honduras Coup

Date of cable: July 24, 2009
Origin: U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa
Classification: Confidential

news icon Wikileaks Honduras: State Department Busted in Support of Coup

November 30, 2010. By Robert Naiman. By July 24, 2009, the US government was totally clear about the basic facts of what took place in Honduras on June 28, 2009. The US embassy in Tegucigalpa sent a cable to Washington with the subject, "Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup," asserting that "there is no doubt" that the events of June 28 "constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup."

View the full article on Truth-out.org

news icon Manuel Zelaya: Wikileaks confirms US knowledge of coup and puts Obama in a bind

November 29, 2010. Tegucigalpa. The cable revealed by Wikileaks sent to Washington by US ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Lorens, “Is a revelation that the United States was very aware of the coup d’etat and puts the Obama administration in a serious bind” assures expatriate Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.

View the full article on ResistenciaHonduras.net

U.S. Government interference with Justice and Accountability in Spain

Leaked State Department cables have made clear that the Obama administration has interfered with the judicial process in Spain and engaged in a political campaign to block Spanish courts from securing accountability for torture and other egregious violations of international law planned, authorized, and committed by Bush administration officials at Guantánamo and elsewhere. The detailed cables reveal efforts undertaken by U.S. diplomats and members of Congress to obstruct and otherwise interfere with two separate legal proceedings in Spain which involve the participation of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).Read more ...

PDF document icon 09MADRID347 Spain: Prosecutor Weighs GTMO Criminal Case vs. Former USG [U.S. Government] Officials

This cable details the filing of the “Bush Six” case in Spain, investigating six former Bush administration officials for creating a legal framework that permits torture. The six officials are: former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, David Addington (former Chief of Staff and Legal Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney), William Haynes (Pentagon’s former General Counsel), Douglas Feith (former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy), Jay Bybee (former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel), and John Yoo (former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel). This cable provides an overview of the legal theory and some of the supporting evidence cited in the complaint, showing U.S. concern about the case.

Date of cable: April 1, 2009
Origin: U.S. Embassy in Madrid
Classification: Confidential

PDF document icon 09MADRID392 Spain: Attorney General Recommends Court Not Pursue GTMO Criminal Case vs Former USG [U.S. Government] Officials

This cable details numerous meetings held between U.S. officials and Spanish officials in which the U.S. government sought to influence the outcome of the criminal proceeding against six former Bush administration lawyers (the “Bush Six”) and shield those who authorized torture from being held accountable through Spanish litigation.

Date of Cable: April 17, 2009
Origin: U.S. Embassy in Madrid
Classification: Confidential

PDF document icon 09MADRID440 Garzón Opens Second Investigation Into Alleged U.S. Torture of Terrorism Detainees

This cable details a meeting between Spain’s Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza and a U.S. Embassy official to discuss the investigation started by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón into the U.S. torture program, and exposes Zaragoza discussing various ways he could “embarrass” Judge Garzón into dropping the case. It cites Zaragoza as saying there is a need for “a strategy to force … [Judge Garzón’s] hand,” and demonstrates U.S. concern that “forcing him” to drop the case “could take months.”

Date of Cable: May 5, 2009
Origin: U.S. Embassy in Madrid
Classification: Unclassified/For Official Use Only

news icon WikiLeaks’ Revelations that Bush and Obama Put Pressure on Germany and Spain Not to Investigate US Torture

December 12, 2010. By Andy Worthington. In the relatively small number of US diplomatic cables released to date by WikiLeaks, from its cache of 251,287 documents, the most disturbing revelations concerning the “War on Terror” deal with the pressure that the Bush administration exerted...

View the full article on AndyWorthington.com

news icon Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe

December 1, 2010. By David Corn. In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects....

View the full article on MotherJones.com

news icon A brief report on Wikileaks documents of Spain-US relations

December 1, 2010. By Scott Horton. In Spain, the WikiLeaks disclosures have dominated the news for three days now. The reporting has been led by the level-headed El País, with its nationwide competitor, Público, lagging only a bit behind....

View the full article on Harpers.org

news icon Wikileaks Cables Reveal Obama Administration Tried To Thwart Torture Prosecutions

December 2, 2010. Daphne Eviatar. Earlier this week we learned from Wikileaks that the Bush Administration tried to stop Germany from investigating the CIA's alleged torture of a German citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who'd been mistaken for an al Qaeda terrorist and imprisoned in Afghanistan....

View the full article on HuffingtonPost.com