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Bildt: No US-Sweden talks over WikiLeaks

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 6 Aug 2010, 15:26

Published: 06 Aug 2010 15:26 GMT+02:00

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"No. We have ongoing discussions with the USA and all those involved in the Afghanistan operation, but not about WikiLeaks as far as I know," the foreign minister told Sveriges Television (SVT) news programme Rapport.

Chris Dunnet, public affairs spokesperson at the US embassy in Stockholm, confirmed to The Local on Friday that the embassy has "received no instructions to engage with Swedish officials over the WikiLeaks story".

"I can't speculate as to what the other organs of the US government are doing," Dunnet told The Local.

WikiLeaks has become a thorn in the US government side in recent months after the release in April of film footage from an incident in which Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists, were alleged to have been killed by US forces.

The release of over 91,000 classified documents, the so-called Afghan War Diary, on July 25th has led to US military and government officials to argue that the organization is a danger to the Afghanistan mission and to the safety of US troops and Afghan civilians.

On Thursday afternoon Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morell called on WikiLeaks to return all of the classified documents in their possession and permanently delete them from the website.

"If doing the right thing is not good enough for them them we will figure out other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing," Morell said, but did not specify what these alternatives may be.

While WikiLeaks holds copies of its documents at several locations across the world many of them pass through Sweden as the site is hosted by Swedish hosting and internet service provider PRQ (PeRiquito) with a base just outside Stockholm.

Mikael Viborg, a PRQ board member, has said that no contact has been made with the firm over WikiLeaks.

"No one has asked us to close the WikiLeaks website," Viborg said according to several media on Friday.

PRQ's business model is to host any customers regardless of purpose as long as they follow Swedish law. Viborg told the Dagens Nyheter daily on Friday that while he and PRQ make no "moral judgement" over what WikiLeaks or any other of its customers publish, he considers their type of operation "to be important for a democracy to be able to function."

The firm's offices were raided by Swedish police in May 2006 in connection with their role as web hosts of the popular filesharing website The Pirate Bay, whose founders Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Varg started PRQ in 2004 but have since sold the firm.

Story continues below…

WikiLeaks has confirmed that it holds a further 15,000 documents that it is checking prior to a possible release and according to the US-based website Democracynow.org the US justice department is investigating whether the site and its founder Julian Assange could be charged with violating the espionage act of 1917.

Congressman Mike Rogers, a member of the house intelligence committee, has furthermore called for the reported source of the Afghan Diary documents, Private First Class Bradley Manning, to be charged with treason - an offence which carries the death penalty.

Assange has meanwhile replied that the statements from several US public figures, should be seen as "balloons" to test the waters of public opinion and urged politicians and the US public to react.

"If the political will in the US does not shoot down these balloons then we could see a shift in finding this behaviour or other behaviour acceptable. People have to shoot those statements down otherwise they will become the new norm," the Australian said to Democracynow.org.

Related links:

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:06 August 6, 2010 by SilentLogic
Stop spreading the truth!
17:34 August 6, 2010 by locaxy
I guess the only way to know Bildt is lying or telling the truth is for his staff to upload "secret" documents to wikileaks.
17:39 August 6, 2010 by eZee.se
Ironic as most governments tell you:

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

Totally useless to get wikileaks to give back the docs, all it takes is one person to make a torrent of those files and put it on thepiratebay, or the thousands of other torrent sites.

The horse has left the barn, it's wayyy too late to close the barn door now.
19:20 August 6, 2010 by whattodo?
yes, I agree eZee. It is useless to "give back the docs". The pentagon spokesperson cannot be that ignorant.. (can he?) So maybe it is a placating PR response....

I find it rather strange that this article takes the approach that, well, so far, we have not been told to do anything in Sweden. What would it matter if we were, if nothing illegal is taking place?

I am curious how much influence the EU, Carl Bildt, and the US has over Sweden's actions.

I would also like to know how a peace loving country ends up fighting in Afganistan.
19:51 August 6, 2010 by VegasMadam
CIA PIMPS, psycho christian supremacists blackmail politicians via my escort service for the war, Israel, nukes: http://www.defraudingamerica.com/robin_head.html
22:12 August 6, 2010 by eZee.se
"I find it rather strange that this article takes the approach that, well, so far, we have not been told to do anything in Sweden. What would it matter if we were, if nothing illegal is taking place?"

Look at the matter of ThePirateBay for your answer.

TPB was a totally legal site (under Swedish law), then Sweden got pressured by the US and threatened with WTO sanctions after which there was an (illegal) raid by the police.

Then a bought and paid for judge.

Then appeal judges who said that even though the original judge had ties to the copyright industries and the prosecuting lawyer... he was still unbiased!!!

Then you have the appeal dates moved up so its after the elections (the Pirate Party got a huge boost after TPB raid).

Hope that answered your question
23:10 August 6, 2010 by waffen
All 15,000 documents should see the light of day around the entire world to expose the illegal "wars" (war can only be declared by the United States Congress) for Empire and the military/industrial complex that the United States has been conducting for seven, and nearly ten years.

Rodgers, and many more of his ilk, should be shot for treason for supporting, aiding and abetting the "wars."

That means that most of the Republicans in the Congress would be shot, and more than a few Democrats would join them.

That would go a long way toward re-establishing a Congress that was envisioned by the Founders, rather than the Oligarchic Capitalist one that is now controlled by the monied elite.
00:52 August 7, 2010 by memyselfandi
I can promise you that if the shoe were on the other foot, the U.S. would force any U.S. company to give up and delete any sensitive military info that it was publishing on one its allies.

The Swedish government is weak and liberal, it is putting Wikileaks ahead of one its Allies and trading partners. I hope that the U.S. rams it up Sweden's candy ass.
02:11 August 7, 2010 by eZee.se
Let me repeat just a snip of my last post:

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

(And I love the US, my stay in LA was one of the best holidays I have ever had - the people (Americans) played a large part in giving me that view... now the US government( and governments in general) leave a lot to be desired- which is why we, as a people, need sites like WikiLeaks. Or do you prefer to get all your news from CNN? or Fox?)
02:15 August 7, 2010 by SilentLogic
The major concern is not to remove the docs, rather they wish to stop leaks in future as they are afraid of disclosure of more bitter tit bits which havn' t revealed yet :)
08:15 August 7, 2010 by enlightened
I visited Foxnews website this morning. People posting comments there are so upset they are demanding the bombing of the wikileaks server... but of course as Americans they can't tell the difference between Sweden and Switzerland. Here are sample comments:

"Two words: Cruise missile. D@mned Swiss."

"We need to shut down Switzerland. They need us a lot more that we need them, if at all. And they need to hang that SOB private for doing this. "


"Isolate Sweden from the Internet until those documents are returned."
16:44 August 7, 2010 by dredeyedick
White House Won't Protect Afghan Sources, Won't Rule Out Killing Assange

-Capturing Bin Laden Takes Back Seat to Fighting WikiLeaks

Last Thursday I thought I'd ask the White House a simple question. Is it more important to capture Osama Bin Laden, or to detain and "question" (under the PATRIOT Act, we all know what that can mean.) Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

I thought this was a no brainer. How wrong, I suppose, I was. ...

For the full post, see my blog Scribal Thrum, at dredeyedick.wordpress.com.

Short Link: http://bit.ly/cANjMw

... and yesterday's disgraceful pentagon press briefing confirms Obama's stance: The United States government will NOT act to protect it's Aghan Friends and Sources, if it means admitting the Executive Branch no longer controls declassification. Which, in this important case, it doesn't.

Here's my tweet to Gibbs, today, Aug 6 2010:

:Sure wish You'd give answers.WH won't protect Afghan Sources?Won't say You WON'T murder Assange?

It's the WH failing to take killing Assange off the table that really really bothers me. As it should any Citizen who feels that governments should not go around killing People with whom it disagrees.


Dave Manchester :-|
19:26 August 8, 2010 by bira
Personally, legal or not, what kind of person leaks information that potentially risks the life of other individuals? I hope you sleep well knowing you may be, albeit indirectly, helping the Taliban murder untold Afghan friendlies. Good job (sarcasm, just in case you didn't get that)!!
06:25 August 9, 2010 by csence
the Swedish government has been contacted by the US. they are lying.

they've been told to deal appropriately with the Swedish hosting company or the US will.

All concerned had better be more careful what they do. This is not a game to play in the name of democracy or transparency. people's lives are in danger, countries security's hang in air.... They are playing Russian roulette with their own lives.

Apparently the recently departured Helen Thomas of the White House press corps is also involved.... How incredibly stupid of her....
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