After an amazingly encouraging week or two, we head into the July 4th weekend with a whole bunch of stuff we've been trying to clear off our desk. Plus: Lots of breaking news and an encouraging ending for the weekend...
It's been quiet around here over the last 24 hours or so, largely because I've been absolutely fascinated following what is going on with WikiLeaks across the net, the nation and the world, despite the decidedly much-less-than-one-might-have-otherwise-expected coverage of the continuing fall out from new documents as they are released, the unprecedented cyber/info war for and against them which continues to rage, and the various whistleblowing heroes speaking up in defense of the "revolutionary" media organization.
For the record, to date, WikiLeaks has released just 1,295 out of the 251,287 leaked diplomatic cables they purportedly have so far. That's about "0.5% down, 99.5% to go" as they tweeted today. That, despite the inaccuracies you'll continue to hear and read in the media about the organization "causing havoc" and being "anarchists" by "indiscriminately dumping 250,000 classified documents!" It should be noted that almost all of the cable documents released to date have been published first by WikiLeaks' media partners such as the UK's Guardian, Germany's Der Spiegel, Spain's El Pais and the New York Times.
Never mind the very serious substance of the cables themselves --- it's not simply "embarrassing gossip" and "nothing new" as many in the media are shamefully downplaying it, perhaps because they didn't report it first! --- there is so much information and opinion flying out here about WikiLeaks and Assange themselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with it all. In general, if you haven't noticed over the years, I only tend post when I feel I have something to contribute to any particular issue. So, of late, I've simply been trying to take much of it in, trying to make sense of it all in this extraordinary moment in history, and tweeting items of note (via @TheBradBlog) as I come across them in the bargain.
A few of those things, and a discussion --- at times, a somewhat contentious debate --- I had with someone on Twitter today in regard to WikiLeaks and Assange et al, are below, and I'd very much love to hear your thoughts on all of it. Read on...
Earlier this week, Daniel Ellsberg, the legendary whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to media outlets in 1971, (see my interview with him on this issue last week) responded directly to those in the media and the government who have said the release of documents by WikiLeaks cannot be compared to the release of the Pentagon Papers which revealed details on the Johnson Administration having lied the nation into the Vietnam War.
The "Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad" mantra, is "just a cover for people who don't want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy," Ellsberg says in a statement. "The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."
His comments were included as part of a news release from the Institute for Public Accuracy signed by former Intelligence Officers and whistleblowers associated with the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. Other signers of the very strong statement in support of WikiLeaks and Assange include Frank Grevil (Danish Army Intelligence), Katharine Gun (British government intelligence whistleblower), David MacMichael (former CIA analyst), Ray McGovern (27-year CIA analyst, used to give Presidential Daily Briefings to Bush Sr. & Clinton), Craig Murray (UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, torture whistleblower), Coleen Rowley (FBI's 9/11 whistleblower, TIME Person of the Year), and Larry Wilkerson (retired U.S. Army Col., Chief of Staff to Sec. of State Colin Powell.)
WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.
How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that's right, Russia's Pravda): "What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic ... After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when ... government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. ..."
So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. ... the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.
The media: again, the media is key. No one has said it better than Monseñor Romero of El Salvador, who just before he was assassinated 25 years ago warned, "The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy." Sadly, that is also true of the media situation in America today.
The big question is not whether Americans can "handle the truth." We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions --- an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, most of which have mounted a hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.
So far, the question of whether Americans can "handle the truth" has been an academic rather than an experience-based one, because Americans have had very little access to the truth. Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, "ground truth."
Ellsberg also appeared last night on the Colbert Report:
From the appearance above...
ELLSBERG: Julian Assange is not a criminal under the laws of the United States. I was the first one prosecuted for the charges that would be brought against him. I was the first person ever prosecuted for a leak in this country—although there had been a lot of leaks before me. That’s because the First Amendment kept us from having an Official Secrets Act. . . . The founding of this country was based on the principle that the government should not have a say as to what we hear, what we think, and what we read. . . .
If Bradley Manning [the U.S. Army Private believed to have copied the cables from a computer he had access to] did what he’s accused of, then he’s a hero if mine and I think he did a great service to this country. We’re not in the mess we’re in, in the world, because of too many leaks. . . . I say there should be some secrets. But I also say we invaded Iraq illegally because of a lack of a Bradley Manning at that time.
FBI whistleblower Rowley, one of the signers of the statement with Ellsberg, as quoted above, echoed his thoughts in an interview by Nathan Diebenow posted at RAW STORY yesterday, in which she says not only might have the Iraq War had been avoided, but also, "If there had been a mechanism like Wikileaks, 9/11 could have been prevented."
Rowley (who we've interviewed in the past and who has even guest blogged here), was TIME's person of the year in 2002 as an FBI special agent in the Minneapolis field office who had tried to warn higher ups about Zacarias Moussaoui weeks prior to 9/11, but was, essentially, ignored. As she explains to Diebenow (and in an October op-ed in the Los Angeles Times), it was the official 9/11 Commission itself which recommended the establishment of a pro-whistleblower infrastructure to help ferret out important information to the public which was being ignored by the public officials.
RAW STORY also highlights the thoughts of another whistleblower, Wendell Potter, formerly the communications officer for health insurer Cigna, who recently apologized to Michael Moore for his, and the industry's, attacks on him over the documentary Sicko!. Potter tells RAW's Brad Jacobson that the attacks on WikiLeaks and Assange by both the U.S. Government and corporations such as Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa --- who all cut off services to the organization despite their having been charged with no criminal wrong doing as we detailed earlier this week --- sets a "very scary precedent" for the future of the Internet and for free speech.
"Well, it takes me back," he told Jacobson. “The Nixon Administration came after Ellsberg and tried to shut it all down and tried to intimidate the news media. There are a lot of parallels here."
It has been a bit more of a surprise that we've not heard more from those on the Right who claim to be "conservative" supporters of freedom of speech and media, and foes of "Big Government". Yes, we know phonies like Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe only act like they give a damn about such things (when it serves them to do so), so we can't be too surprised they've said nary a peep in defense of WikiLeaks. But until today, it was largely only Rep. Ron Paul who had spoken up to say "we need more WikiLeaks", as he did again this afternoon, persuasively, on the floor of the U.S. House.
It's too bad more of those who believe they are "conservatives" (where are ya, "Tea Party"?!) have yet to speak out similarly.
"Decentralizing government power, limiting it, and challenging it was the Founders’ intent and these have always been core conservative principles," Hunter writes. "Conservatives should prefer an explosion of whistleblower groups like WikiLeaks to a federal government powerful enough to take them down."
Hunter goes on to win a far-too-rarely-bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative" award for noting:
It should also be remembered that the same conservatives now calling for Assange’s head either ignored or were sympathetic to Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame allegedly at the Bush administration’s behest — a revelation arguably far riskier to our national security than anything ever released by WikiLeaks.
To quote Annie from It's a Wonderful Life: "About time one of you lunkheads said it!"
So it was with all of the above and more on my mind when I began tweeting the following this morning:
TheBradBlog: #WikiLeaks reveals international diplomacy 'deeply soaked in oil'. Listen to today's 'Green News Report': http://bit.ly/hxtcVo
TheBradBlog: FBI's 9/11 whistleblower Coleen Rowley speaks up in strong support of Wikileaks, joining @DanielEllsberg http://t.co/eGkcKI4
TheBradBlog: Insurance industry whistleblower Wendell Potter joins @DanielEllsberg, Colleen Rowley in support of WikiLeaks. http://t.co/2whLBPF
TheBradBlog: FINALLY another *actual* conservative (unlike fakes Beck, Breitbart etc) joins Ron Paul in defense of WikiLeaks: http://j.mp/eAM6l6
TheBradBlog: Any so-called "conservative" calling for attacks on @WikiLeaks/Assange is a phony "conservative". Go read the Constitution, losers.
TheBradBlog: Wow. MUCH irony, eh? Thx 4 the link! RT @_tophe @TheBradBlog has Clinton already forgotten her Speech 4 Int'net Freedom? http://j.mp/e4vm7j
TheBradBlog:Same #TeaParty hoaxsters who supported ntl. sec threat by outing classified CIA agent now attack #WikiLeaks as ntl. sec threat.
And to that last tweet, I received a direct reply from a woman who tweets as @billiegirltoo, who also writes under the same moniker at "Tommy Christopher's Daily Dose", a group blog describing itself as "a daily dose of politics, and anything else that can be viewed from the left."
In her profile at Twitter, she says she's "mostly into politics, foreign policy, cooking, and books," and from what I can tell, she appears to be genuinely coming from what she must believe to be a Progressive perspective. Disturbingly, she also, during the course of our (at times contentious) conversation, said she regards herself as a "journalist" or, at least, a "reporter".
So when she seemed to be challenging my tweets in support of WikiLeaks, I thought I'd try to find out why. The resultant conversation --- as imperfectly re-constructed from Twitter as best as I could --- follows below. Hopefully you'll be able to make sense of the truncated 'tweet speak', since I think the conversation was illuminating as it, unfortunately, is too representative of where the misinformed (thanks, corporate media!) public is right now, even on the theoretically-Progressive side of the blogopshere --- at least if McClatchy's new poll out today, showing some "70 percent of Americans think the leaks are doing more harm than good", is anywhere near accurate.
Please forgive both her and I as we occasionally tweeted in response to one thing, while another comment came in and as we both did our best to make sense of it all, as confusing as such conversations can be at times. As mentioned, I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of the above and all of the below (if you're able to make sense of it) in comments...
TheBradBlog:Same #TeaParty hoaxsters who supported ntl. sec threat by outing classified CIA agent now attack #WikiLeaks as ntl. sec threat.
billiegirltoo: and vice versa.
TheBradBlog: How so?
billiegirltoo: oh. the same folks who are mad about the outing of plame are more than happy to let wikileaks on similar details.
TheBradBlog: Plame illegally outed to purposely harm. What NatSec has been threatened by #WikiLeaks (who has committed no crime)?
billiegirltoo: i think that's still to be determined. too early yet to know what consequences. the docs also leaked purposly to harm.
TheBradBlog: NO evdnce #WikiLeaks means 2 harm anybody. Evdnce shows contrary in fact & DoD/Gates confirm no harm so far. Not so re Plame.
billiegirltoo: usually when i'm talking about ill intent, i'm talking about julian, not wikileaks. even his own people think he's unethical
TheBradBlog: Not intrstd in whether ppl who say they know him like him or not. Interested in Freedom of Press/Exprsn, US Const, Secrecy
billiegirltoo: so, what i'm hearing you say is that information illegally leaked in plame case was wrong, but in manning case was okay?
TheBradBlog: U weren't talking abt Manning. U were talking abt @WikiLeaks/Assange. Ur now moving goal posts.
billiegirltoo: releasing info about plame=bad, releasing info abt. diplomacy=good, releasing potential rape victim info=bad?
billiegirltoo: assange asks the question himself: who should be in charge of keeping secrets? well, i guess only him.
TheBradBlog: When BigGov abuses secrecy 2 go to/wage war, target US ctzns w/o due process for assntn etc is journos rspnsblty 2 report it.
billiegirltoo: when did we shift to talking about journalism?
TheBradBlog: Is also responsibility of ALL citizens to oversee OUR govt & expose wrong doing/lies (as Manning has, btw).
billiegirltoo: illegally. and, wikileaks is not journalism.
TheBradBlog: #WikiLeaks IS journalism.
billiegirltoo: if wikileaks was journalism it wouldn't have needed the help of all the journalists it enlisted.
TheBradBlog: Nonsense. What diff btwn what WikiLeaks does and any other journalists do??
billiegirltoo: disseminate information. wikileaks was unable to interpret, and still are unable to interpret, all the info they have.
TheBradBlog: U've been conned by the *bad* journalists who resent their own failures & that @WikiLeaks beat 'em to real journalism.
billiegirltoo: i've been conned by nothing. however, i do have a differing opinion which to you means i've been hoodwinked. silliness.
TheBradBlog: Huh? @WikiLeaks gets info (like journalists), writes abt it (like journalists), shares it (like journalists). What's diff???
billiegirltoo: actually they don't.
TheBradBlog: They don't what??
billiegirltoo: get info the same way as journalists, nor do they share it in the same way.
TheBradBlog: You're wrong. But do explain.
billiegirltoo: why? you clearly know best.
TheBradBlog: Am seriously interested in ur POV. Otherwise, I wouldn't be asking, having this convo w/ u.
billiegirltoo: wikileaks is essentially a whistleblower org. that gathers information indiscriminately, without fact checking, and dumps it
billiegirltoo: while there may be journalists among them, the site itself does not interpret information. jounalists do.
billiegirltoo: this is why you have so many diplomatic professionals saying much of the info is not new. private convos maybe
TheBradBlog: "is y so many diplmtic pros say info not new" They r wrong and/or lying. See #1-#9: http://bit.ly/i5PYId & thats 9 days ago!
billiegirltoo: journalists also likely would not leak exact locations of sensitive sites crucial to nat. security. you may want to know...
billiegirltoo: ... but there are diff. ethical standards.
billiegirltoo: like i said. there may be journalists working there. but the ORGANIZATION is not the same.
TheBradBlog: BTW, U said u are a journalist, but u seem to write as just "billiegirltoo" at ur site: http://dailydose.us/
billiegirltoo: if wikileaks is journalism, why did the organization not just research it themselves and write stuff on their own?
TheBradBlog: If YOU received 250,000 docs & shared them w/ other journo orgs, that means YOU'RE not a journalist???
billiegirltoo: didn't say that in the least. but, likely if i'm a journalist who obtained that amount of info, why WOULD i share the scoop?
[I didn't notice that question at the time, during the flurry of tweets and cross-talk, but my answer would have been something like: "Because journalists are *supposed* to be about sharing information with the public that they need to know, not about getting 'scoops'. Also because it's impossible for any one person, or even a small group to review and report on 250,000 documents by themselves!]
billiegirltoo: like i said. there may be journalists working there. but the ORGANIZATION is not the same.
TheBradBlog: Ur arguments are now becoming incoherent, as opposed to just wrong. W/ all due respect. Seriously.
TheBradBlog: At this point, better response might be: "U've given me much to think abt. Maybe I was wrong in condemning WL."
billiegirltoo: i've remained consistent the entire time.
billiegirltoo: i've said: assange does wikileaks a disservice, wikileaks needed journalists, illegal activity is just that, lying is bad
TheBradBlog: WL charged w/ no crimes, or with lying. Period. What are u talking abt???
billiegirltoo: never condemned wikileaks. at no point.
billiegirltoo: when have i brought up any crimes with wikileaks?
billiegirltoo: i have said lying is bad in journalism, i have said that breaking united states law is bad-libby and manning.
billiegirltoo: i don't quite know what you are reading into my tweets. i think i'm being quite straightforward.
TheBradBlog: U equated WL w Plame outing; Sed "not jrnalsm"; Maybe lied; Offered nthng new; Don't intrprt info. But u didn't condemn them??
billiegirltoo: nope. i equated illegal activity with illegal activity.
TheBradBlog: Please don't "never condemn" me that way, okay?!
billiegirltoo: also, calling me dear is a smidge condescending
TheBradBlog: "also, calling me dear is a smidge condescending" When did I call u "dear"???
billiegirltoo: oh. heh. i blended tweets while reading. my apologies.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2010 @ 10:21 pm PT...
Not in love with War and Tweets report above.
Do love the rest of your coverage on this thread and am increasingly excited about all the Wikileaks brouhaha.
Also, Wendell Potter's book gives an eye-opening history of the refinement of the spin cycle we're all subjected to by the rich and powerful here in the U.S., starting with the tobacco industry.
Seeing that more clearly makes it easier to see that it's basically been similar bunches of guys spinning similar reams of nonsense for decades and helping to keep us unusually ill-informed on various critical subjects. Iraq. Iran. Israel. Climate change. GMOs in the food supply. BP spill. Financial meltdown. Healthcare. The purpose of taxes. Wikileaks. Etc.
I wouldn't call it a conscious conspiracy because I don't think the playbill of characters involved from Cheney and Bush to Obama and Holder are particularly conscious of what they're doing.
But like with the Koch brothers and their Tea Partying there is a definite purposeful agenda being pursued. And it very much has to do with money and power and keeping things a certain way for the purpose of a few gaining more money and power.
Wasn't Bernie Sanders something today?!!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2010 @ 11:06 pm PT...
The dialog you had with billiegrl2 is like many conversations I've had with people that think the actions of the corporations towards wiki leaks is justifiable. When you state the facts, that no charges have been filed, what laws have they broke? When will Visa and Mastercard go after the NYT or The Gaurdian? They turn to emotion and opinion. and say fuck the facts.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2010 @ 11:09 pm PT...
The rape charge is trumped up. This blog has dug into Anna Ardin's, one of Assange's accusers, tweets. Seems like she went to a party with him the day after the alleged "rape".
COMMENT #6 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 2:17 am PT...
To all the Americans
"If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear"
Then explain why this panic over free information?
Here outside US it sure looks like some people knows for sure they have done wrong, when keeping the "done nothing wrong" mantra in mind.
Another version of the mantra is.
"it is only those who has something to hide, who is against surveillance"
Again, the goverments, not only US, clearly shows they feel the need to hide there deeds. For there own taxpayers mostly.
And we should keep in mind that both mantra version originated from the very gorvements who wanted to monitor us.
It is not so much about proof anymore. We do not know it is 4 because we do not have the proof of 4. But we do have 1 and 3.
Can we realy count on others to add them for us?
Do we realy need others to add them together for us?
Maybe that is the feeling filling the TeaBags. They feel the 1 and 3. But can't add it up right.
Must be frustrating as hell.
As far as I know, Joe Lieberman has not yet returned to the Democratic Party and is still a Republican.
He always was an extreme right-wing neo-con, even when he was the second most important Democrat in the country, the number two man on the Democratic ticket in the Presidential race of 2000.
Obama, of course, is farther to the right than Bush, but is still nominally a Democrat. He probably promised the corporations that he wouldn't come out of the closet and admit to being a Republican until after he leaves the White House.
Most, if not all, of the Democratic Party leadership are to the right of the Republicans.
There are a handful of Democrats, primarily those in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, who are not extteme right-wing neo-cons, but not even their positions and voting records are to the left of Ron Paul, a Republican.
It was Democratic Clinton with his famous surplus who destroyed the fabric of our country by pushing through GATT so that jobs could be outsourced and slashing social programs so that those who would lose or would not be able to find jobs, would have no safety net.
And Clinton has joined with Obama to kill Social Security:
Bush never claimed the right to assassinate US citizens. Bush didn't renounce the Nuremberg Principles and insist that the Eichmann defense, that those who were just following orders and doing their job should not be prosecuted, is US policy.
How long are Democratic voters going to keep deluding themselves? Poison, asphyxiation, jumping off high buildings, or shooting yourself are all quicker and less painful forms of suicide than voting for an oligarchy that despises you and would sell you and your children to the Taliban if there was a buck to be made from it. Michael Chertoff is making a killing from his scanning machines, but not even he thinks, as Joe Bageant pointed out in his most recent article, that "the best way to stop terrorists from flying into the country is to humiliate Americans trying to fly out."
The Democrats and Republicans are both Americans. They're only in it for the money. They're capitalists, imperialists, and have no human values whatsoever. Neither do their voters.
That's what Wikileaks is revealing by publishing the leaked documents, and that's why our government is furious. And so is "billiegirltoo," even if she's too confused to articulate exactly why. We kill for sport, for fun, for oil, and for money, not in self-defense. Our foreign policy, as always, is designed to protect Rockefeller business interests all over the globe. Our Presidents and our politicians, of both parties, don't work for the American people, they work for Rockefeller.
Wikileaks has helped to expose the fact that our government is deeply opposed to democracy, and acts only in the interests of capitalist imperialism.
I don't understand how anyone can vote in a US election, knowing full well that even if their vote is counted accurately, no matter how they vote or who they vote for, the results of the election will be the continuing torture of known innocents, the continuing bombing of innocents by unmanned drones, continuing wars of aggression and crimes against humanity, the continuing looting of our national treasury by the wealthy donors to both political parties, and the continuation of the unaccountability and impunity our oligarchs have come to take for granted.
How can Americans continue to accept war crimes and the theft of trillions of dollars on the basis that even if we can't do anything about it, we can alway try to elect different murderous thieves once the terms of these murderous thieves are up. How can you say, "It's okay for you to assassinate me without trial, because once your term of office is over, my family and friends can try to elect somebody else?"
If you cant hold elected officials accountable during their terms of office, which is the only time they're supposed to represent you, you can't hold them accountable at all, they're not your representatives, you don't live in a democracy, and you shouldn't be voting for them.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Shut up, Mark. Nobody here agrees with you. Everyone here is either on the payroll of the Democratic Party or so heavily invested in their identity as a Democrat that they can't hear a word you're saying and wish you'd just dry up and go away.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 6:06 am PT...
While I support transparency and less government secrecy, this has the stench of deep covert intelligence involvement. Notice how buried in the doc dump are "facts" claiming to support an attack on Iran. I suspect there is some hidden propagandizing going on here, and for that reason, while I hope Assange prevails, I do not necessarily trust wikileaks to be what it claims. Or perhaps they are being "fed" documents in a manner they do not fully comprehend.
I came across an interesting wikileak when researching Bush era prosecutions abroad. Found it in an article out of Lagos, Nigeria of all places.
Apparently a human rights agency in Spain compelled a Spanish court to seek charges against Yoo, Bybee, Gonzales, Addington, Feith and others for conspiracy to torture some Spanish nationals caught up in black sites.
Spain met blunt resistance according to cables. Republican senators like Judd Gregg sent Mel Martinez (any guess why) to meet Spanish diplomats and pressure them to drop case.
Obama's embassy people apparently cooperated with the effort, threatening to harm relations. Spanish officials began to denounce the case and it languishes today. Great example of Obama bipartisanship in covering up torture. Anyone want to write it up?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 6:30 am PT...
It happened there. No doubt it happened here. Thanks WikiLeaks!
Brad - Which journalists are saying no new info has been released (nothing we didn't already know) - which is exactly what my friend has said (that I copied) a few articles back, and you corrected. I'd like to see where that misinformation is coming from. Thanks.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 10:10 am PT...
The contrived conspiracy of fascism is weak by comparison to the natural evolution of the conspiracy of truth.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 11:39 am PT...
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 1:29 pm PT...
Interesting that it's not true that 250K docs have actually been leaked, that none of the leaks embarass Israel, that some of them bolster the case for war against Iran, that the 'leaks' are published via msm outlets that clear them with the Pentagon first and redact them per request, and that it seems in the long-run we may end up with harsh, draconian anti-whistleblower laws, with full support of teapublican citizens who equate secrecy with national security, because of the controversy over wikikleaks. Interesting, indeed. I'm not quite sure wikileaks is all it claims to be.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/11/2010 @ 1:54 pm PT...
Only time will tell what behind all this ...theater !
You didn't have to go to Nigeria to find that out, Gus Wynn @9. The info was presented by Amy Goodman when she interviewed attorney Scott Horton on Democracy Now:
AMY GOODMAN: Revelations continue to emerge every day from the massive trove of diplomatic cables being published by WikiLeaks in conjunction with newspapers around the world. The latest disclosures reveal US officials tried to influence Spanish prosecutors and government officials to drop court investigations into torture at Guantánamo, CIA extraordinary rendition flights, and the 2003 killing of a Spanish journalist by U.S. troops in Iraq.
I really really really *hope* Twitter is on the level on this one; sort of have to take them at their word. Who can dispute them re: their own algorithm?
That said, as someone who has spent a lot of time using Twitter as a news aggregation source, I have to say the number of new tweets per min. on the topic don't mete up to the minimum number it usually requires / has required in the past to generate strong trending.
Seems that way to me, anyway. I had read that article anInofTort's posted @ #1 earlier this week and found it's math very persuasive.
Plus, Twitter had an odd statement to the effect of "no comment" to the media this week when asked about whether or not Wikileaks account was safe...
I don't want to bite the hand that tweets me, but what would it say if Twitter stood by the Iranian People in 2009 as they gave their lives to march against against a hostile government (takeover?) only to cave so easily in helping us to resist our own?
(FWIW, Seconding Lasagna's sentiment re: this particular Twitter feed/ Bradblog crossover. It's hard on the eyes and doesn't add much to your already excellent article. Plus, you're playing to your hecklers. Tho' I'm sure that @billigirl-whatevs is totally grateful for the free plug.)
Wow! A WIKILEAKS lesser-known breaking hot potato: North Koreans implored the US to 'arrange an Eric Clapton concert in Pyongyang' as a means of solidifying diplomatic ties, given 'Kim Jong-il's second son's utter and complete devotion to the rock legend'.
Cool! Maybe he'll hear about that and actually GO to North Korea - maybe "Layla" will save us from WW3. (If anyone could...it'd be her.) Hope it happens, too, just so we can point to it as one of the many ways WIKILEAKS changed the world for the *better*, and actually *ceased*, not *increased*, the inevitable harm befalling innocents.
"Assange apparently is occupying same cell at Wandsworth where Oscar WIlde stayed for several months in 1895. Wilde was so ill he spent about half the time in the clinic, and there's an interesting political twist, too --- but then nearly everything about Wilde was interesting..."
@ Soul (#11) ~ (Hi, buddy!) Here's another really interesting read re your question: journalists / pundits who've posited the "nothing new here" mantra. This is from Gideon Rachman who was among them, and has since reversed his position on the matter on the nature of Wikileaks' revelations:
"In previous posts, I dismissed WikiLeaks as not such a big deal. Well, that was obviously wrong. I argued that everybody already knew that - for example - Nicolas Sarkozy is vain or Russia is a brutal and corrupt place, so the cables did not add much to the sum of human knowledge...but that was wrong on two counts."
@ Mick(& Camusrebel) ~ Your insistence on Gordon Duff (or anyone, for that matter) being the only source for all you don't know about the release of these cables is really really weird to me.
You both seem far too bright for that.
I was a 9/11 Recovery worker and I follow the 9/11 A&E / Pilots / Scientists for Truth movement with great interest and gratification, occasionally chipping in $$ and or letters of support. I know a lot of the heavy hitters in the Truth Movement(s), and work closely with them when I am asked. (Specifically aiding the 'BUILDING WHAT?'campaign by NYCCAN - one of the most effective I've seen.)
Like you, I believe that the events on that day provided the pretext needed for every international (and Federal) crime we've committed since. Unlike you, I don't think it's the only story there is.
I have read all of your comments on this topic in recent and not so recent threads, and while I admire your conviction tremendously (and appreciate all your efforts to move this info on my behalf) this knee-jerk, Alex Jonesian, Prison Planet reaction to Wikileaks is unsettling to me.
(Your finely tuned bullshit detectors notwithstanding...)
...or check out this *great* documentary (just released) that shows both sides of the Wikileaks debate. I think this is *much* better fodder for your "critical thinking" palate / a lot of new info I didn't know:
I understand (believe me, I do) what tends to kick us into over-drive when we discover Truths about country too Heinous to begin to conceive. It is truly a traumatizing event for the psyche, and I do not for a second underestimate it's potential to send you out into the world, blindly swinging at it all. (I have a helluva "lost weekend" in my NYC post-9/11 past, lasted about two years. When I finished up my work in Lower Manhattan and tried to reclaim my life, I found out I had a form of PTSD, resulting. Don't remember much from that time but my friends all started referring to me as "Dances With Gangsters"...)
You might be interested to know (and you might not)that this is why I threw myself into election reform. And you *should* be interested to know that I've found E.I. work to be substantially more horrifying than decomposing body parts and mountains of twisted steel.
I see incredible correlations to the behaviors of people who had been at Ground Zero too long, and people who've been in the E.I movement too long.
One common thread is assumption of sourcing / facts; ie. your bizarre assertion(s) that Wikileaks is Mossad / CIA just because "they're on every channel" is just such a red-flag statement to my mind.
The info being relased by Wikileaks is way too important to dismiss it so casually, especially SECOND HAND. 9/11 Truthers should be in complete support of Assange. One day his work may lead to the investigations and convictions you (and I and a majority of Americans) know are inevitable in the case of the horrific events of that day.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 1:38 pm PT...
Jeannie (I always enjoy your comments)
I am on the fence regarding Wikileaks. The turning point for me in believing too much anymore was when Nancy Pelosi said going after bush, cheney etc was "off the table". And...when Obama said "we are going to look ahead not back". That's when things came to a standstill IMO. I mean if after all that the administration did and there is no punishment what hope can you have that "new" information coming out is going to have any consequence.
Both these comments say the government is being run by a "shadow" government and no one outside "the shadow" has any say in anything really.
To me the Wikileaks leaks are probably something that can be found out by someone with smarts digging deeper.
I hope I am wrong, I really do, and I wish I wasn't so mistrusting but that's the way I see it.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 2:43 pm PT...
Isn't WikiLeaks composed of US diplomatic documents?
I read that one of Israel's leaders found no problem with WikiLeaks. Think it was Netanyahou (sp?)...that our foreign policy and their's was the same.
So Alex Jones and Wayne Madsen (ex. CIA ) saying this is a Mossad operation is more telling about who they are than WikiLeaks.Esp. with the amazing information coming out so frequently...and they still insist it is is Mossad. So sad.
I do think that it is alarming that our foreign policy and Israel's is the same. Huge cause for concern along with about 100 other pressing issues.
Read The Guardian and the comments for all things WikiLeaks. Frequent updates.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 2:49 pm PT...
Re. WikiLeaks being something that someone with smarts could find out by just digging deeper.
How about Pfizer changing the case in Nigeria by finding dirt on their prosecutor? We all know that kind of thing goes on all the time..but this is the first time that I know of that it is proven.
The Way Big Pharma Gets by with Murder
That Nigerian Case would be a great book. I would buy it.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 7:57 pm PT...
For what it's worth--
I am skeptical that in dysfunction as profound as ours anybody or any small group of anybodies would have the wherewithall to have a coherent, functioning, giant conspiracy as is asserted/suggested so frequently lately. It's getting to be like UFO sightings.
This is not to say that conspiracies do not exist. I think they do, but in smaller not so all encompassing ways.
At the same time, to me it looks like, the forces and agendas of wealth and power acting in concert (but maybe separately, too,) do produce AN EFFECT that is LIKE a conspiracy against truth, justice, the basic tenets of the Declaration of Independence, and the health of the planet.
So I suspect the many current conspiracy theories popping up all over now are usually misnaming a variety of forces producing effects that may look like conspiracy but may actually be more an unconscious group stupid profoundly influenced by a conscious(yet unconscious)purposeful agenda of the extremely wealthy and powerful.
To me, so far, it looks more like a mishmash of--tremendous amounts of misinformation, combined with a pervasive disconnect from things that really matter, combined with everyone operating out of their own individual time warps, combined with a sense of privilege, self-indulgence, and laziness that taken all together creates, perpetuates, and expands a lemmings-off-the-cliff situation for this culture. Something like that.
On the bright side---Wasn't it refreshing how all those British people took to the STREETS when faced with proposed austerity measures???!!!!
COMMENT #33 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 9:40 pm PT...
"9/11 Truthers should be in complete support of Assange. One day his work may lead to the investigations and convictions you (and I and a majority of Americans) know are inevitable in the case of the horrific events of that day. "
"Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is ‘annoyed’ by 9/11 truth "...
"In this interview, Belfast Telegraph reporter Matthew Bell asks Wikileaks founder Julian Assange about “conspiracy theories”. Assange subsequently explains his position.
His obsession with secrecy, both in others and maintaining his own, lends him the air of a conspiracy theorist. Is he one? “I believe in facts about conspiracies,” he says, choosing his words slowly. “Any time people with power plan in secret, they are conducting a conspiracy. So there are conspiracies everywhere. There are also crazed conspiracy theories. It’s important not to confuse these two. Generally, when there’s enough facts about a conspiracy we simply call this news.” What about 9/11? “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.” What about the Bilderberg conference? “That is vaguely conspiratorial, in a networking sense. We have published their meeting notes.”
Assange is a strange dude ,that much is clear ,his family and upbringing is anything but normal. So far his " leaks " are more hype than substance .The "truth" about 911 and the "truth" about Wikileaks is still unknown.Only time will tell .
COMMENT #34 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 9:52 pm PT...
We need to start finding a way to agree on big picture items and creating/starting some sort of truth, justice, planetary/people's health movement that ACTS. Like Bernie Sanders in the Senate the other day, the protesters in England, and the hundreds of thousands of us at the Comedians' Rally.
We need more proactivity.
I will continue in my own humble awkward way to increase my own active participation.
Well, if you don't bother to actually look at them, I suppose that could be true. However, if you do, you'll see there is a great deal of substance. (Unless you don't consider evidence that: our government has lied about our participation in a number of wars; violated the law by spying on other diplomats; halted prosecution of the Bush Administration in two separate countries; lied about killing journalists in a war zone; etc. etc. to be "substance").
BTW, Mick, when you quote an article from elsewhere, if you can put it into blockquotes it's easier to read. Just highlight the graf(s) and then hit the "blockquote" button above. I'll fix the comment above for ya.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/12/2010 @ 10:50 pm PT...
"our government has lied about our participation in a number of wars; violated the law by spying on other diplomats; halted prosecution of the Bush Administration in two separate countries; lied about killing journalists in a war zone"
which of this is NEW ? NONE ! Why is Sibel Edmonds not getting the notoriety of Assange ? And I say this as an Australian .
Mick - Setting aside your Sibel question for now, because it's not relevant, as I see it, to whether your charge that "his 'leaks' are more hype than substance", you ask "Which of this NEW? NONE!"
Really? You don't think the fact that we now have evidence that the State Dept. blatantly lied about U.S. involvement in Yemen is new or noteworthy?
You don't think that evidence of the Obama Administration directly intervening on behalf of the Bush Administration into official investigations in Spain and Germany of torture of their citizens by U.S. officials is new or noteworthy? Really?
That we have evidence of the State Dept. having violated the 1961 Vienna Treaty is new or noteworthy?
Evidence revealing, in no uncertain terms, that the Bush Administration covered up the murder of unarmed civilians and journalists in Iraq is new or noteworthy?
I could go on and on and, mind you, we've only see about .5% of the latest batch of 250,000 documents at this point.
"NONE" of it is "NEW"? Really? If you have official, incontrovertible evidence documenting the above, please feel free to share it.
I'm sorry that what seem to be the very specific things you're interested in have not yet come out. But to suggest there is nothing new or important released by WikiLeaks is, frankly, not even a charge worth rebutting. It's laughably absurd.
I don't have anything to add, really, to all the sense Brad just made at you. I have a feeling it's kind of moot at this point. You're all output / no input. But since you (sort of) asked:
"9/11 Truthers should be in complete support of Assange. One day his work may lead to the investigations and convictions you (and I and a majority of Americans) know are inevitable in the case of the horrific events of that day. "
--- Why ?
Because someone like me, for example, who was privy to high level security clearance at the Office of Emergency Management in NYC in and after the 9/11 attacks due to a strange series of events involving a Senator's aid and a (really tasteful) nudie picture, *might* have information / classified documents that actually answer the question 'was 9/11 an inside job' beyond a shadow of a doubt...
...and that source, perhaps just a silly song n' dance gal like me, would need a safe, high profile, international platform to post docs in a way that OEM / or NORAD / or the Pentagon / or BANK OF AMERICA or WHOEVS can not interfere with the flow of info or 'suicide' me. Hopefully that internet platform would have enough power and financing to actually manifest some real damage to the enemies of free speech, and protect me from my own government.
So, that's why, Mick.
I really really hope that clears it up. Your impatience and intractability on this simple point is making me thing YOU'RE Mossad.
Now:I read your link re: Assange / 9/11 quote the first time you posted it. Please stop assuming the rest of us don't read the links posted here like you apparently don't. It's a courtesy we usually afford one another before launching into our blah blah.
I don't see your problem with his quote, Mick - that is, if you remove a perceived ego-bruising on behalf of the Truth Movement. All Assange has posited is that we don't have any PROOF of the 9/11 "conspiracy" - and we don't! We have a story we know ISN'T true. We have an official narrative that doesn't make sense and volumes of lies, impossible time-lines, misinformation, silenced whitsleblowers, and stonewalled widows...
...but no proof.
I know, I know. I can feel your "time will tell" cycling around...your mantra in blind response to whatever evidence is presented to you here. Your pre-dispositioned comments seem purely reflexive, just as Brad and David Lasagna aptly describe above.
Oh, and as for Assange's direct quote re: "false conspiracies" re: 9/11 - there are a ton of them, Mick. (One of the most widely circulated despite being debunked time and time again? The "Five Dancing Israelis". Thanks to Brad for taking the time in another thread to tap that one down. I can't tell you how bastardized that report has become since the first time I heard it.)
Just because there are all kind of speculations and rumors out there as to what happened - still doesn't preclude solid evidence from existing, somewhere. Assange wants evidence. So do I. So should you.
And yes, now that I know what horrors are in the 5% of released Wikileaks docs (and so should you) I *do* think it would be frustrating to constantly be addressing 9/11 hypotheticals in light of all the proof acquired of all the *other* atrocities we've committed against the peoples of the world.
Nice twitter debate. You exhibited much patience with that wouldbe journalist...Dear. Just reading the illogical, moving target responses to you was getting annoying for me.
BTW, Wikileaks is journalism. It is a new form of data-mining, chronicling journalism.
Wikileaks and even Julian Assange are doing all of the usual tasks of journalism, but moreso, they specialize in receiving sensitive information of any size and funneling it to fellow journalists (through necessary delegation of tasks) who can fully analyze, evaluate and further write about it.
Society is complex, and any complex task requires some delegation and specialization. That does not change it from being journalism.
The Other Brad
COMMENT #41 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/13/2010 @ 11:23 am PT...
Here is another angle for those interested ...
For anyone who has studied the craft of intelligence and of disinformation, a clear pattern emerges in the Wikileaks drama.
The focus is put on select US geopolitical targets, appearing as Hillary Clinton put it “to justify US sanctions against Iran.”
It is almost too perfectly-scripted to be true. A discontented 22-year old US Army soldier on duty in Baghdad, Bradley Manning, a low-grade US Army intelligence analyst, described as a loner, a gay in the military, a disgruntled “computer geek,” sifts through classified information at Forward Operating Base Hammer. He decides to secretly download US State Department email communications from the entire world over a period of eight months for hours a day, onto his blank CDs while pretending to be listening to Lady Gaga. In addition to diplomatic cables, Manning is believed to have provided WikiLeaks with helicopter gun camera video of an errant US attack in Baghdad on unarmed journalists, and with war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Manning then is supposed to have tracked down a notorious former US computer hacker to get his 250,000 pages of classified US State Department cables out in the Internet for the whole world to see. He allegedly told the US hacker that the documents he had contained “incredible, awful things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, DC.” The hacker turned him in to US authorities so the story goes. Manning is now incommunicado since months in US military confinement so we cannot ask him, conveniently. The Pentagon routinely hires the best hackers to design their security systems.
Where's the "other angle"? That's the exact same speculative argument that you and CamusRebel have generally been advancing here, without evidence, for the last two weeks.
At this time, there is at least as much evidence, if not more so, that you are working for government intelligence (as Jeannie Dean riffed), then that Assange is. You seem to be working far harder than him to manipulate the beliefs of the American people than he ever has, as far as I can tell.
(P.S. I have no reason to believe you're working for government intelligence, as there is no evidence to support that baseless assertion.)
COMMENT #43 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/15/2010 @ 12:38 pm PT...
WL is the most effective project against hetrosexual power.
Keep suporting WL economicaly lets make an end to hetrosexual sociatys.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/16/2010 @ 4:00 pm PT...
If there is no news in WikiLeaks
Why is the Air Force not allowed to look at it?
Or State Dept. employees at work or at home?
I am a political junkie and have seen a lot of things that are new to me. ie Pfizer finding dirt on a prosecutor in Nigeria who was going to bring charges for antibiotic trials that caused deaths there.That is how Big Pharma gets by with murder.