Via Raw Story:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denounced “business McCarthyism” in the United States after the Bank of America halted all transactions to the website Saturday.
The Australian, who was spending his second full day on bail, vowed the whistle-blowing site would carry on releasing controversial leaked US diplomatic cables as he insisted his life was under threat.
Bank of America, the largest US bank, halted all transactions for WikiLeaks, joining other institutions that have refused to process payments for the website since it started to publish the documents last month.
“Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks,” it said in a statement.
Commenter ‘Undercover Brother’ made a mention of this in a previous thread, and I think it’s an overlooked point in the battle against Wikileaks. Wikileaks had been considered a serious threat to our government’s secrecy for quite some time already. They released the Apache Helicopter video back in April. They released the Afghanistan War logs in July and the Iraq War logs in October. And even though the release of the diplomatic cables only started recently, our government has known that Wikileaks had them for over six months.
But it wasn’t until the first week in December that major pressure was applied to them from private industry, specifically folks in the financial services world. And it happened shortly after Julian Assange said this in an interview printed in Forbes:
These megaleaks, as you call them, we haven’t seen any of those from the private sector.
No, not at the same scale as for the military.
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.
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 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.
When discussing Wikileaks and the intense backlash against them, it’s easy to fall into a conspiratorial mindset. But when dealing with America’s financial sector in a world economy that’s so interconnected, they may indeed have more power to silence people than any single government by itself.