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WikiLeaks and the 2014 Sochi Olympics

Discussion in 'Wikileaks' started by The Wrong Guy, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    WikiLeaks and the 2014 Sochi Olympics | Common Dreams

    By Jules Boykoff, April 7, 2013

    Jules Boykoff teaches political science at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He is the author of "The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch US American Social Movements" (Routledge, 2006), and "Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States" (AK Press, 2007).

    Precisely ten months from today, the 2014 Winter Olympics will open in Sochi, Russia. This weekend also marks the three-year anniversary of one of WikiLeaks’s most controversial interventions: the release of a video documenting American troops in Apache helicopters gunning down twelve people — including two Reuters employees — in Baghdad.

    It turns out the histories of the Olympics and WikiLeaks intertwine in revealing ways. And WikiLeaks disclosures about past Olympics help us better understand what’s going on in Russia today as President Vladimir Putin and company prepare to host the Games.

    In late February 2012, WikiLeaks began releasing “The Global Intelligence Files,” a trove of more than five million internal emails from Stratfor Global Intelligence, a private spy firm headquartered in Texas. The documents contained politically explosive information, including speculation that Julian Assange would soon be indicted by the U.S. Justice Department. The Stratfor files also exposed the obsession Olympic sponsors have with political activists.

    Coca-Cola — a Stratfor client and “Worldwide Olympic Partner” — was concerned that the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) might interfere with the smooth running of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. In a June 2009 email, one Stratfor employee discussed “a long list of questions regarding PETA/Animal Activism and the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver.” Among Coke’s queries were “How many PETA supporters are there in Canada?”; “How many of these are inclined toward activism?”; and “To what extent could non-PETA hangers-on (such as anarchists or ALF supporters) get involved in any protest activity?” PETA barely registered on the roster of resistance among anti-Olympic activists in Vancouver, but Coca-Cola wasn’t taking any chances. Like all corporate sponsors of the Olympic Games, Coke wanted to maximize profits and minimize political fallout.

    As the London 2012 Summer Games approached, Dow Chemical—another Stratfor client—tasked the firm with tracking activism related to the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. After acquiring Union Carbide in 1999, Dow insisted it wasn’t responsible for the toxic debacle that killed thousands and sickened many more. As another “Worldwide Olympics Partner,” Dow — like Coca-Cola — forked over $100 million to the International Olympic Committee. It also supplied an $11-million decorative wrap for the Olympic Stadium.

    Stratfor kept a Bhopal activism file for Dow, which included entries on campaigner Colin Toogood of the Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA). Stratfor noted that Toogood had used Facebook and Twitter to circulate information critical of Dow’s Olympic sponsorship. Julian Cheyne of the online anti-Olympics group Games Monitor was also ensnared in Stratfor’s surveillance net after receiving a tweet from the BMA. WikiLeaks helped highlight the cash chasm that allowed Dow and other Olympic sponsors to remain one step ahead in the battle between corporations and campaigners in London.

    Thanks to Wikileaks we also have evidence that U.S. government honchos view the Olympics as a way to leverage security cooperation from host cities.

    Continued at www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/07-4
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  2. Anonymous Member

    I lost my taste for the olympics reading about the politics of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) back in the late '80's. I respect the athletes who train for this thing, but the institution itself is something that should be reformed.
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Islamist vows 'maximum force' to stop Sochi 2014 Olympics | Reuters

    Russian islamist rebels urged followers on Wednesday to use "maximum force" to prevent President Vladimir Putin staging the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

    In an online video recorded in a forest, Doku Umarov said an order not to attack Russian targets outside the North Caucasus had been canceled and likened holding the Games in the Black Sea city to performing "Satanic dances" on the graves of Muslims killed fighting Russian forces there in the 19th century.

    Umarov sat wearing camouflage fatigues and a cap in front of a black jihadist flag, flanked by two fighters who, like him, were bearded. As he spoke, birds could be heard singing in the forest.

    Sochi, which is due to host the Games next February, is a few hundred kilometers (miles) from the volatile and mountainous North Caucasus region in southern Russia where there is almost daily violence. But it was the homeland of ethnic Circassians until they were expelled in the 19th century.

    Putin has promised tight security at the Games, on which Russia is spending more than $50 billion, and sees it as a chance to show the world what his nation can achieve.

    "They (Russia) plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims, buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea, and we as mujahideen are obliged to not permit that, using any methods allowed us by the almighty Allah," Umarov said in the four-minute video on kavkazcenter.com.

    "I call on you, every mujahid, either in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan or on the territory of the Caucasus to use maximum force on the path of Allah to disrupt this Satanic dancing on the bones of our ancestors," he said, referring to predominantly Muslim regions in Russia that are far from the North Caucasus.

    www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/03/us-russia-olympics-militants-idUSBRE96207T20130703
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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Gays and lesbians could be arrested at Sochi Winter Olympics under new Russian anti-gay law

    The Australian Olympic Committee believes athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will be safe, despite a new law allowing police to arrest gay tourists. The law, brought into effect just weeks ago, allows police to arrest tourists or foreigners whom they suspect of being gay or lesbian. In addition to being a human rights violation, the law goes directly against the International Olympic Committee charter of non-discrimination.

    Australian officials cannot guarantee gay athletes traveling to Sochi would be free from persecution or arrest. But they believe athletes will be protected by the IOC charter.

    "I don't think gay athletes in Sochi have anything to fear," said long-serving AOC spokesman Mike Tancred. "Under the IOC charter, discrimination of any kind is strictly forbidden. I am sure the IOC values will prevail."

    Under the law, passed by President Vladimir Putin, police can detain suspects for up to 14 days, and their powers will even extend towards people considered "pro-gay".

    Continued at
    www.news.com.au/breaking-news/gays-and-lesbians-could-be-arrested-at-sochi-winter-olympics-under-new-russian-antigay-law/story-e6frfkp9-1226684354843
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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Report: German president to boycott Olympics in Russia | CNN

    German President Joachim Gauck will boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to a report Sunday.

    The announcement would make Gauck, a former pastor, the first major political figure to boycott the Games, which will be held at the Black Sea resort in February.

    According to a report in the German publication Der Spiegel, Gauck made the decision in protest against human rights violations and the harassment of Russian opposition political figures. The magazine said the Russian government was informed of his decision last week.

    The German presidential office could not be reached for comment Sunday. Russia's Presidential Press Service said there was no immediate official reaction to the report.

    Germany's presidency is largely ceremonial; Chancellor Angela Merkel oversees the government.

    Some athletes have spoken out against Russia's new "propaganda" law that bans even discussion of homosexuality anywhere that children might hear it.

    The legislation, which President Vladimir Putin signed in June, gives authorities the power to impose fines as well as detain and deport foreigners who are deemed to have breached the law.

    Some artists and activists have called for a boycott of the Sochi games, which run from February 7 to 23.

    Continued here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/08/world/europe/germany-russia-olympics-boycott/
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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Today In Dictator Power Moves: Putin Announces Anti-Gay News Director | Esquire

    By James Joiner, December 9, 2013

    Today in dictator power moves, Russian president/possible breast man/world's most powerful hipster/general alpha-male charisma conduit Vladimir Putin has decided to announce his pal and, of course, staunch supporter, Dmitry Kiselyov as the head of Russia's government controlled state news agency. Part of a rebranding effort, which included changing the name of the organization to the much more friendly-seeming Russia Today, it seems Putin's PR people are in for a bit of a challenge.

    Kiselyov is famed for his homophobic (to put it mildly) comments a couple years ago on the show he hosted. He suggested that not only should gays not donate organs, they should be "burnt or buried in the ground as unsuitable for the continuation of life."

    While Russia has never been a bastion of journalistic integrity, falling more on the side of North Korea's propaganda-spreading "news" agency and their unicorn lairs than outlets like the New York Time or BBC and actual facts, this seems to be a particularly bad call on Putin's part amidst growing international disdain for his stance on gay rights while under the microscope brought by the looming Olympics AKA the Gangster Olympiad.

    When even the German president announces he's boycotting due to human rights transgressions, perhaps it's time for a slightly more modern nod to what's acceptable in the rest of the world at large?

    Not that any of it matters to Putin, whose ego is so vast that — let's face it — he doesn't care what you think. Although his approval ratings are at the lowest since 2000, does that really make a difference when you're the supreme leader? What are they gonna do, vote him out? ‘Cause that worked last time. Looks like there's something that a fiercely homophobic dude who loves ABBA, large swords and shirtless horseback riding needs to come to terms with.

    Continued here:
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/putin-announces-anti-gay-news-director
  7. Anonymous Member

    Just when you think Russia has left the dark ages behind. I thought Russia was ok with the gay.
  8. Anonymous Member

  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Obama sends message by naming Sochi Olympic delegation

    The White House delivered a strong message of opposition to Russia's anti-gay laws Tuesday with the announcement of its delegation to the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics.

    The White House delegation will include an openly gay athlete: tennis great Billie Jean King.

    It will not include the president, first lady or the vice president, all who headed the previous four Olympic delegations, or a cabinet secretary, only a former one. This marks the first Olympics since the 2000 Sydney Summer Games that a U.S. president, vice president, first lady or former president has not been a member of the delegation for the opening ceremony, which will be Feb. 7 in Sochi.

    A statement from the White House said President Obama's schedule doesn't allow him to travel to Sochi. "President Obama is extremely proud of our U.S. athletes and looks forward to cheering them on from Washington," the statement said. "He knows they will showcase to the world the best of America -- diversity, determination and teamwork."

    The delegation "represents the diversity that is the United States," the statement said.

    Also absent will be French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck, who announced earlier that they will not attend the Sochi Games.

    Continued here:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...cs-delegation-to-include-gay-athlete/4051581/
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

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  12. commisiar Member

    Sochi looks like it might be simmering in anger next year but the biggest thing is don't disrespect Russia. Other then that the anti-gay law producing homophobes it's a real mess and the terrorist groups makes things even more so.
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sochi Games come with Olympic-sized corruption, official says | Christian Science Monitor

    A Swiss Olympics official says that as much of one-third of Sochi's $55 billion price tag has simply been embezzled.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Euro...-Olympic-sized-corruption-official-says-video

    Russia Travel Alert

    The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens planning to attend the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia that they should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times.

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_6258.html
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  14. Anonymous Member

    Everybody watch NBC so you can see real terrorism!
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Russian Islamic video threatens Sochi Olympics | The Associated Press

    An Islamic militant group in Russia's North Caucasus claimed responsibility Sunday for twin suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd last month and posted a video threatening to strike the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    <snipped>

    In the video, two Russian-speaking men warned President Vladimir Putin that "If you hold these Olympics, we will give you a present for the innocent Muslim blood being spilled all around the world: In Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Syria."

    They added that "for the tourists who come, there will be a present, too."

    In a statement posted with the video on its website, the militant group Vilayat Dagestan claimed responsibility for the Volgograd bombings.

    The video claims that the two men, identified as Suleiman and Abdurakhman, were the suicide bombers and purports to show the explosives being prepared and strapped to their bodies.

    http://news.yahoo.com/russian-islamic-video-threatens-sochi-olympics-212717453--spt.html
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  16. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ul-snowden-was-cultivated-by-a-foreign-power/

    And in ring number three we have this circus.
    Those pesky Commies
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  17. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Glenn Greenwald@ggreenwald 6h
    As US media outlets dutifully repeat the "he-worked-for-Russia" accusation, see this buried Reuters paragraph:
    http://utdocuments.blogspot.com.br/2014/01/reuters-on-snowden.html

    Reuters on Snowden

    Reuters, today:
    Other U.S. security officials have told Reuters as recently as last week that the United States has no evidence at all that Snowden had any confederates who assisted him or guided him about what NSA materials to hack or how to do so.
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  19. Disambiguation Global Moderator



    1. Expand

      Its idiocy. They can parrot this only to look stupid later.
      Please God don't tell me they think this will work.
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Russian Officials Promise Low Death Toll For Olympics | The Onion

    Leading up Friday’s opening ceremonies, officials for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi promised low death tolls for the games, assuring that fatalities would be at an acceptable level.

    “With an international event on this grand of a scale, casualties are inevitable,” said President of Russia Vladimir Putin, boasting that the winter games have had far fewer deaths than organizers anticipated since athletes began arriving in Sochi. “We are preparing for a completely reasonable amount of mishaps with the torch, mysterious disappearances, and collapsed stadiums.”

    While Putin did not want to entertain the notion of fatalities exceeding the tolerable threshold, he did offer assurance that the surrounding region had plenty of space available for mass graves.

    Source: http://www.theonion.com/articles/russian-officials-promise-low-death-toll-for-olymp,35201/
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  21. fishypants Moderator

  22. snip

    .
    WTF?? Was he being ironic??
  23. White Tara Global Moderator

    Lolol the onion
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  24. fishypants Moderator


    Many people share your concern.

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

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  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sochi Olympics: How the international LGBTQ rights movement failed Russian gays | Slate

    Last paragraph:

    The Sochi Games were the U.S. gay rights movement's first real attempt to venture into international work. It was an embarrassment. If U.S. groups continue to do nothing but stage fundraisers and strategy sessions, it will be a disgrace.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/...nal_lgbtq_rights_movement_failed_russian.html
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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

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