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WikiLeaks founder praised by Pentagon Papers exposer

By Dan Nystedt
December 8, 2010 03:20 AM ET

IDG News Service - Daniel Ellsberg, the man responsible for outing the now famous Pentagon Papers in 1971, and a group of ex-intelligence officers have thrown their weight behind WikiLeaks and its founder, saying the current attempt to label WikiLeaks' leaks as trivial compared to the Pentagon Papers is wrong.

The Pentagon Papers include 7,000 pages of documents collected by the U.S. military about decision making during the Vietnam war that showed U.S. leaders believed early on that the war could not be won and would lead to many more casualties than ever stated publicly.

In a statement, Ellsberg and associates said comparisons saying the Pentagon Papers were good while WikiLeaks' material is bad is, "just a cover for people who don't want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."

On his own blog, Ellsberg said he would no longer use Amazon.com due to its "cowardice and servility in abruptly terminating its hosting of the WikiLeaks website, in the face of threats from Senator Joe Lieberman and other Congressional right-wingers."

Amazon has denied government influence swayed its decision to stop hosting WikiLeaks on its servers, saying the site broke user rules. The U.S. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Lieberman, had asked Amazon to stop hosting the controversial website.

Other major U.S. Internet companies have also hurt WikiLeaks. Ebay's PayPal service has "permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy," it said on its blog.

The Internet payment site has apparently led the way for others, as credit card companies MasterCard and Visa reportedly plan to halt payments to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks.org was also dropped by its original domain hosting site,also a U.S. company, but because of strong DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks against the site that threatened to down other sites.

Assange himself faces jail time over sexual assault allegations in Sweden. The leader of WikiLeaks surrendered to U.K. police on Tuesday and was denied bail after being deemed a flight risk.

The U.S. is reportedlyseeking ways to charge him over the release of classified documents.

WikiLeaks on Wednesday vowed to press on. "We will not be gagged, either by judicial action or corporate censorship… The release of the U.S. Embassy Cables – the biggest leak in history – will still continue," it said.

The whistle-blowing website has come under fire for publishing classified U.S. documents, including videos and documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as sensitive cables sent between U.S. embassies and the U.S. State Department.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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