Wikileaks Under Attack: California Court Wipes Out of Existence

One of the most important web sites in recent months has been Created by several brave journalists committed to transparency, Wikieaks has published important leaked documents, such as the Rules of Engagement for Iraq [see my The Secret Rules of Engagement in Iraq], the 2003 and 2004 Guantanamo Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures, and evidence of major bank fraud in Kenya [see also here] that apparently affected the Kenyan elections. Wikileaks has upset the Chinese government enough that they are attempting to censor it, as is the Thai military junta.

Now censorship has extended to the United States of America, land of the First Amendment. As of Friday, February 15, those going to have gotten Server not found messages. Today I received a message explaining that a California court has granted an injunction written and requested by lawyers for the Cayman Island’s Bank Julius Baer. It seems that the bank is trying to keep the public from accessing documents that may reveal shady dealings. Wikileaks was only given a couple of hours notice “by email” and was not even represented at the hearing where a U.S. judge took such a drastic step attempting to totally shut down an important information outlet. The result was this totally unprecedented attempt to totally wipe out the existence of Wikileaks:

“Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court.”

There have, of course, been previous attempts by the U.S. Government and others to block publication of particular documents, most famously in 1971 when the Nixon administration attempted to stop publication by the New York Times of excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg. But trying to close down an entire site in this way is truly unprecedented. Not even the Nixon administration, when they sought to block publication of the Pentagon Papers, considered closing down the New York Times in response.

If this injunction stands, it will set an incredible precedent for all of us who use the web to unveil misbehavior by the rich and powerful. Fortunately, Wikileaks is fighting this unconstitutional attack on press freedom, aided by six pro bono attorneys in San Francisco. While Wikileaks has so far not issued any particular call for support, all who value freedom should stand ready to offer whatever support they need.

Meanwhile, Wikileaks still exists. Its founders, knowing that governments and institutions will go to extreme lengths to censor the truth, have created an extensive network of cover names from which one can access their materials or continue leaking the secrets of governments and the corrupt rich and powerful. Thus, everything is available at, among other names. Let the leaks continue!

Stephen Soldz is a psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He maintains the Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice web page and the Psyche, Science, and Society blog. He is a founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, one of the organizations leading the struggle to change American Psychological Association policy on participation in abusive interrogations. He is President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and a consultant to Physicians for Human Rights. Read other articles by Stephen.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. r gaylor said on February 19th, 2008 at 2:14pm #

    Hey, George Orwell was only 20 years off after all!

    Freedom of Speech? Just what the F#$% is that in our schools? Question our war in Iraq and teachers and students will blast you right out of the place …

    And we wonder why we have come to such a pass?

    Here is a thought … because so many people who should have stayed in the teaching profession allowed themselves to driven out by the Jesus Crowd or the wing nuts … shame on us! All of us! And especially shame on all of the parents who put their kids in private schools in order to get them an education. They abandoned to schools to mediocrity and here we now sit … up to our eyeballs in sleaze! Now the so-called freedom of the Internet is being squeezed just like every other attempt at openness. So much for freedom … or maybe we are free so long as we think the way we are told to.

    Good article though …



  2. DavidG. said on February 19th, 2008 at 2:34pm #

    Following my trailing by the U.S. Southern Command, this article reinforces further the fear that everyone should now have.

    Our freedom and our democracy is under serious threat. If we don’t fight we will again become serfs while the rich and powerful carve up the world for their exclusive benefit.

    United, we stand!

  3. Phil said on February 20th, 2008 at 4:14am #

    Well as they say the game is afoot. Has the mainstream US press reported it anywhere? How do they feel about the Administration rounding on the Press and Free Speech and the constitution.

    It also raises questions about the US Government competence and suitability to be the custodian of the worlds internet addresses and administration. Are there any alternative networks out there?

    If the US Government are now acting against their own press and constitution in a banana republic dictatorial style. The the civilised world will come to see the country in that light. American citizens have a lot of work to do to redress the balance in favour of the constitution and democracy.

    America is just waking up to its peril so don’t be disheartened.

    March 19th, Washington, UNITED FOR PEACE Demonstration. Be there! OR check their web site for State events. There are International events taking place too!

    Chin up and get WORKING for freedom, just tell one uncomprehending neighbour per day whats going on and you need their help. Try It!

    All the best to all, Phil

  4. SBM said on February 20th, 2008 at 4:27pm #

    WikiLeaks can still be easily accessed here: