Killing the Messenger: Corporate Media and Politicians v. Julian Assange and Wikileaks
Wikileaks- In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble. – Ron Paul
It would be difficult to find a current story that is as bi-polar as is the one about Julian Assange, the organization Wikileaks that he manages, and the wealth of information they have made available to the world. On one hand he is being dismissed as an attention seeking misanthrope spewing useless rubbish of little portent onto the Internet, and, on the other hand, governments are seeking to either manufacture means to prosecute him, or simply assassinate him. The American media simultaneously portrays him as a dangerous enemy of the state, and the producer of barely important political gossip. The fact that two such divergent extremes exist lends itself to the realization that what this man and his organization have accomplished is truly remarkable, and courageous. Politicians are scared. Diplomats, bureaucrats, lobbyists and corporations are rattled and they’re talking nonsense because of it.
Like a defendant speaking out of both sides of their mouth – stumbling over a myriad of excuses, denials, and deflections – the American Diplomatic Corps, bureaucrats, the Executive Branch, and and the nations highest legal officials, along with the ever-obedient corporate media, are scurrying for ways to shut this man up, his organization down, and the public eyes out. The release was viewed by ‘authorities’ only out of fear for what would have to be explained, justified, or re-concealed, rather than pursued and corrected. All of their vast resources were set to the task of discrediting and silencing the messenger. These actions would not be necessary if the contents of these cables were as benign as the American Political establishment, and the corporate owned media, would have us believe.
Israel Shamir of Counterpunch.org wrote :
“The files show US political infiltration of nearly every country, even supposedly neutral states such as Sweden and Switzerland. US embassies keep a close watch on their hosts. They have penetrated the media (including their own), the arms business, oil, intelligence, and they lobby to put US companies at the head of the line.” (bracketed words added)
The most direct attack at Mr. Assange has come in the form of his placement on Interpol’s most wanted list for the crime of having sex without a condom, immediately after having had consensual sex with the same women while using a condom. As explained by Israel Shamir of CounterPunch.org;
The prime accuser, Anna Ardin has “ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba…Note that Ardin was deported from Cuba for subversive activities.”
It’s certainly not conspiracism to suspect that the CIA has been at work in fomenting these Swedish accusations. As Shamir reports, “The moment Julian sought the protection of Swedish media law, the CIA immediately threatened to discontinue intelligence sharing with SEPO, the Swedish Secret Service.”
America, Australia, France, and likely many others receiving pressure from either the countries that have been currently exposed, or their masters in the financial world who are set to be exposed by similar leaks in the new year, are investigating to find if there is a crime with which they can charge Mr. Assange or his organization. They aren’t seeking him for a crime that he violated; they are seeking a crime that they can hope to charge him with violating. In the case of America, they are even willing to rewrite a 93 year old, pre-WWI espionage law, so that they can have the President sign it into affect and then use it as a weapon against Julian Assange.
In a clear demonstration of what we are all sure many of the world’s power-brokers are thinking and planning, Prof. Tom Flanagan, advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper, and Mike Huckabee, former Governor and now FoxNews host, openly called for the assassination of Julian Assange. Neither one showed any shame or hesitation in calling for the assassination, or extra-judicial execution, of an individual who has neither conducted nor threatened any act of violence.
The American government has issued orders that all federal employees refrain from accessing or reading the released cables from either their federal offices or even their personal home computers. The government seems to feel that they have the ability to re-classify now publicly available documents as ‘secret’, or ‘top-secret’, and thereby circumvent the freedom of access to this information through censorship, at least over those individuals whose freedoms they seem to have purchased for a now frozen hourly wage.
Throughout the week Senator Joe Lieberman, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has been involved in some extraordinary dealings in an attempt to keep the American people from accessing the information published by Wikileaks. Tableau Software, who published data visualizations of the leaked cables, was contacted by Lieberman and convinced to terminate their relationship with Wikileaks. Mr. Lieberman then contacted Amazon after Wikileaks was forced to move to Amazon’s EC2 ‘cloud server’ as a result of being the victims of relentless DDOS attacks (Distributed Denial Of Service – suspected to have originated from those most intent on keeping the information secret) on another server. Lieberman called Amazon and convinced them to aid in the systematic attempts to exclude Wikileaks access to the Internet. Amazon, like Tableau Software, capitulated to the pressure.
It’s unclear how the position of elected representative, who chairs a committee of other elected representatives, gives Mr. Lieberman the authority of censorship and the totalitarian control to exert such pressure. Aside from, and in addition to, the contents of the Wikileaks files, the government’s reaction and handling of the situation must be documented for on-going and future in-depth analysis and accountability.
In addition, active service personnel in Iraq are being intimidated by the U.S. military into not reading the Wikileaks cables on line. As reported in The Gawker:
U.S. soldiers in Iraq who try to read about the Wikileaks disclosures—or read coverage of them in mainstream news sites—on unclassified networks get a page warning them that they’re about to break the law.
The sensitive nature of these documents is obvious, and so therefore is the importance of their release. The individuals charged with the representation of the interests of their citizens and the relationships between their nations and others should be accountable to the people that they are representing. To foment mistrust by conducting blatantly inappropriate schemes on behalf of corporations and political donors at the expense of the relationships, and in some cases the safety, of the citizenry they are charged to represent is both irresponsible and perhaps criminal.
For the media to side with the perpetrators of these acts, and not only condone their conduct but provide them assistance in keeping the knowledge of these acts from the public, is a violation of their duty and the public trust. This is why the people of the world need Wikileaks and the independent media.
The release of this information does no damage to America’s national security. What it does do is provide the public, and their representatives in Congress, with clear awareness of improper and illegal behavior perpetrated in the name of the American people under a cloak of secrecy. Yet, as a whole, the American congress has been noticeably silent on these points, and the White House has reacted with both threats and determination to limit the access to this information.
Gilbert Mercier, in his article ‘Assange Delivers on Obama’s Promise of Transparency,’ quotes President Obama, and exposes this tact is directly hypocritical to the promises he made during, and after, his campaign for office.
“Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud and abuse of power in government,” said President-elect Obama on Change.gov
With so much effort being expended to criminalize an individual who has done nothing more than expose the truth, how much effort is being put into the investigation and potential prosecution of the wrong-doers that have been exposed. What efforts are underway by Attorney General Eric Holder’s office to look into the actions and machinations of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice? These individuals are American citizens, subject to the authority of the American government and the American people. What investigation is going to be conducted into the behavior of Joe Lieberman?
With all the attention being focused on Mr. Assange, who is looking into the the information that has been exposed? Who is looking into the truth behind the lies that the American people have been told regarding the presence of their special forces in Pakistan or the secret army run by the CIA in Afghanistan? What task force has been assigned to pursue the information on behalf of the American people? Where is the outrage about what has been exposed rather than at the individual who has facilitated the public access to the truth? Why is there such a rush to kill the messenger?
Many in the media and the political establishment have already concluded that there is no question as to whether or not Wikileaks has done anything wrong. Even though they’ve done exactly as prescribed by the American President their guilt seems to be a foregone conclusion. The only debate seems to be what Mr. Assange or Wikileaks punishment should be.
Why is all the attention being directed at Wikileaks and Assange? The only person that anyone can establish apparent criminal charges against is Pfc Bradley Manning, ironically, a man who, once again, did exactly what President Obama described as heroic and patriotic. Neither Wikileaks as an organization, nor Julian Assange as an individual, are guilty of any discernible crimes in this matter.
The agenda is obvious; discredit and distract attention from the information in the leaks, and the individual, Pfc Bradley Manning, who validates their origins, and focus all attention on the discrediting and sabotage of the Wikileaks conduit for truth and transparency in order to assure that any further exposure of the secretive deals and maneuvers of political, corporate, and financial elite are avoided.
The complicity of the American media is perhaps the most insulting. To display their allegiance to corporate and political authorities over journalistic principle will permanently stain what little credibility remained. To assist not only in the censorship of material, but to aid in the assault on Wikileaks and Julian Assange is unconscionable. To go even further and depict the exposure of truth, and the free sharing of information with the public, as a wrongful and punishable act that must be stopped equates the American networks to the state run media of totalitarian regimes.
Glenn Greenwald, in his Salon column, draws attention to a perfect example of the coruption of American media:
“On CNN, Wolf Blitzer was beside himself with rage over the fact that the US government had failed to keep all these things secret from him… Then – like the Good Journalist he is – Blitzer demanded assurances that the Government has taken the necessary steps to prevent him, the media generally and the citizenry from finding out any more secrets: ‘Do we know yet if they’ve [done] that fix? In other words, somebody right now who has top secret or secret security clearance can no longer download information onto a CD or a thumb drive? Has that been fixed already?’ The central concern of Blitzer – one of our nation’s most honored ‘journalists’ – is making sure that nobody learns what the US Government is up to.”
Corporate financed American media has exposed itself as a propaganda tool. If it was ever a fifth estate it is now in foreclosure and under the control of the same banks and financiers that bank-roll American politicians. Wikileaks, an organization of courageous people, have facilitated public knowledge of the things done in their name. Depending on who you are, and what the situation was, you may consider yourself victim or beneficiary, and that opinion may change from page to page as you work your way through the documents. But, thanks to Julian Assange and the people at Wikileaks, and despite your elected representatives and the corporate run media, you are no longer ignorant, hapless pawns… at least not entirely.
Knowledge is power and Wikileaks has just given you a quarter million pages of power. Julian Assange may be the lightening-rod for the wrath of those threatened by an enlightened populace, but the power he provides, by exposing the truth, is greater than what they can muster. Read the documents. Download the documents. Don’t allow them to be erased from the public domain. Analyze the documents and start asking questions, and don’t stop until you get some answers. Demand that the media give full and fair coverage. Turn the information into action.
Julian Assange has a target placed on his back by politicians and corporations all over the world, and it’s being illuminated and held in place by the media they control. They may very well triumph against the man, and perhaps even the organization, but they can’t triumph over the idea. Mr. Assange has shown us how to harness the power of the Internet to end the secrecy that impacts us all. They can put an end to Wikileaks, perhaps, but they can’t put an end to the pursuit and exposure of the truth.
As of the writing of this update, Dec 5, 2010, the Wikileaks site can be accessed HERE!