WikiLeaks - Hype, Propaganda or Revolution?
The media is full of hype about Mr. Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks. The story might be considered trivial at first. However, the hoopla is interesting to observe, highly intriguing and, in my view, well worth analyzing and second-guessing a bit.
The basic story is quickly told: WikiLeaks publishes confidential content (documents, videos, audio files), which is supplied by informants, whose identities are kept secret and protected. Based on this concept, information has reached the day of light which some believe should be public knowledge per default, since it regards the 'work´ of governments, those employed by the people and paid for by the taxpayer.
Governments, obviously, would have preferred to keep the information confidential. Some feel that divulging such information, which was obtained without permission, is criminal. In fact, Mr. Assange has been hunted down on criminal charges – albeit on charges of rape (!?!?).
The whole story is intriguing because it is so full of contradictions, double standards and a good portion of (potentially orchestrated) drama. And, it is worth taking a closer look at in order to raise questions in the context of highly important trends and issues of current times.
More transparency or less?
We live in times of increased regulations and an immense state push for increased citizen transparency. In the face of huge debts and deficits governments have become increasingly aggressive at demanding their rights, namely taxes. In order to pay for their inefficiencies, mis-allocations and socialistic schemes, tax payers are expected to pay. Privacy, a means of potentially avoiding taxes, is not acceptable, not in this day and age.
WikiLeaks turns the table around. It demands government transparency. The WikiLeaks position is that governments have no right to confidentiality versus those who pay their salaries: the people.
These two positions are diametrically opposed. What is intriguing is that the very effect of WikiLeak´s push for state transparency could well lead to the very opposite, namely increased internet censorship, more regulations and less state transparency. In fact, in consideration of the above quote – "a multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state." – we may raise the question whether in fact Mr. Assange, the defender of free speech, is being instrumentalized, consciously or unconsciously, in the interest of his declared enemy. Clearly, no matter how you look at it, the internet is a force that governments are having a hard time keeping in check. It appears they are determined to assert more control, if that is indeed in any way possible.
Blatant double standards of the state
Government officials around the world, including those in Germany, are crying wolf over WikiLeaks and demanding proper regulations of the internet. Such abuse, and the use of illegally -- whether it is illegal or not, is question attorneys argue over -- obtained data, must be banned!
If the blatant double standard in this were not so very repugnant, it might be amusing: Germany is the state that accepted stolen bank data from a criminal banker and, America, gave that criminal refuge. The data was used to go after German tax payers who allegedly kept funds in Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes. And, the data was sold (!!) by Germany to other countries, so that they might also hunt down their dodgy tax payers.
Cause to be skeptical
What really gives this whole story a bad taste, at least for my taste buds, is this: Why do governments around the world give WikiLeaks such a huge amount of free marketing and media presence, if they indeed want to keep their little dirty secrets out of the public´s eye? This world is full of smoke and mirrors.
There are stories and people to be heard that are far more interesting and, in many ways, more important that Julian Assange´s dirty laundry concept. So far this year, there have been over 150 bank failures in America. The international monetary system is in the process of collapsing. The U.S. administration has no intent whatsoever on repaying its debts. These are stories that should be on the front pages. However, the stories that rank at the top of the news are Mr. Assange, the European debt crisis, the economic recovery in the US and the Climate Summit in Brazil. You need to at least ask the question why this selection was made, and by whom.
WikiLeaks is not the first, and certainly not the only, website that is based on the concept of divulging "secret and dirty state stories". Although some of the information provided on WikiLeaks is abhorrent for sure, there is little that, for those who looked and reflected beyond the mainstream media tabloids, could not have been expected. And that gets us to the very center of why I question the authenticity of this drama unfolding before us:
What hits the front-pages and is seen by the masses is largely controlled by a few 'corporate behemoths´, which again are largely orchestrated by the state. What is not meant to hit the limited attention span of the masses simply won´t.
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, for instance, makes for a good example in this context. He demands the abolishment of the Federal Reserve. He questions the legal justification of the IRS. He vociferously questions American military presence in the Middle East. In fact, he is against interventionism altogether. He strongly believes in the individual´s right to privacy. And yet, Ron Paul is hardly to be found in mainstream media where he seems to be pretty much blended out. He is present primarily on the internet.
Here, by the way, is what Mr. Paul says about the WikiLeaks affair:
"In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble. The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling, and outright military intervention in the post-World War II era has made us less secure, not more. And we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of dollars for our trouble. Too often 'official´ government lies have provided justification for endless, illegal wars and hundreds of thousands of resulting deaths and casualties."
In conclusion, whatever the truth of the WikiLeaks affair really is, we need to be sceptical of anything that is served up in our daily dose of mass media gibberish. This also, and particularly, applies to the mass media news on the economic and financial markets.
So, what to do? I like Mr. Ferdinand Mount´s quote in this context: "One of the unsung freedoms that go with a free press is the freedom not to read it."
Posted by John Henry Hill on 12/17/10 11:51 PM
Again, I say, anything of high-level importance to the security of the U.S. is, or, at least, should be, encrypted. Much ado about not much.
Posted by Al Kyder on 12/13/10 06:34 PM
@ Eyes To See, Ears To Hear
Its not over yet. Wikileaks has a lot of material to release.
Its not Assange that is turning this into an X-rated Swedish Melodrama but the detractors. The reason why Americans can't see this is because if Assange does not agree with them or in the case of DB with its free market agenda then he must be part of the pinko marxist global conspiracy. Once again Americans are largely out of sync with the rest of the world.
So do you support a free press Do you think you have a right to know what your government is doing? Then why slander wikileaks, unless of course, the free market agenda is really just the old Neo-Liberal/Neo-Con thing repackaged. If so it will fail. Never get off the ground. The debate about the economy is over.
@ Victor Barney; You need professional help. I would vote for Stalin just so he could finish his work with people who say things like you do victor.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"If Assange does not agree with them or in the case of DB with its free market agenda then he must be part of the pinko marxist global conspiracy. Once again Americans are largely out of sync with the rest of the world."
Do you even bother to read Bell articles before sending a "feedback?" Kinda doubt it ...
Posted by Plume on 12/13/10 02:28 PM
Spot on, Eyes To See, Ears To Hear!!!
Posted by Victor Barney on 12/13/10 11:58 AM
WikiLeaks – Hype, Propaganda or Revolution?
Duh! All of the above! It's hype and propaganda from the Marxists(Anti-Messiahs by defintion) now in control in our white house about the Revolution that they have NOW WON!
P.S. Did you know that America really was "Israel" by the seed of Joseph(Gen.48:16) and that the Bible basically is all about Israel(race) and Judah(grace)? Or, that we have had plenty of Marxists Presidents in the past(Wilson, FDR, etc., etc., etc.), but never the addition of the forbidden foreigner(non-Israelite) put over Israel before(Deuteronomy 17:15)! P.S. Did you also know that Germany comes from the Israelite Tribe of Gad? Watch!
Posted by Eyes To See, Ears To Hear on 12/13/10 11:11 AM
Ah-hhh, still poking at the slowly rotting carcass of a dysfunctional story, are we? Can it be that this political soap opera has so thoroughly distracted our ever-flighty attention span from all the harsh realities of what is rapidly overtaking us that we sit slack-jawed in wait for the next episode (or, as DB puts it, the continuing process, to unfold.) The story is DEAD! But the postmortems are endless.
The chief value of this tawdry drama was that it pointed to the Elite's determination to control the Internet, and to whatever extent Julian Assange assists in this further usurpation of power. This is, perhaps, a worthy investigation, but one that has turned into a Swedish, X-Rated melodrama. The result is something like a bumbling Inspector Clouseau French movie with Japanese subtitles directed by Ernst Ingmar Bergman. It simply is NOT meant to make sense. It's called distraction!
This is all so much Bubble Gum for the mind, an endless chewing of the cud, a rumination whilst the ruination of the world takes place before our meme-glazed eyes.
Reply from The Daily Bell
One of your most eloquent feedbacks by far.
Posted by USMarine on 12/13/10 10:16 AM
1. Obama gets most of his money and is the puppet of George Soros.This man created Obama's Presidency.
2. Assage " WIKILEAKS gets most of his money form George Soros.
3. George Soros is a self professed Marxist.
4. If you believe that all those thousands of classified documents published my WIKILEAKS came from just a Private in the Army I got some real estate I want to sell you.
So what is WIKILEAKS all about? On December 21 (a day that will live in infamy) the federal government will decide on new rules for the inter net called "Net Neutrality." This is a Marxist scheme to limit freedom of speech and control what information you can get.
Today, the Internet is the most outrageous freedom of speech the world has ever know and the Marxist can't wait to put a stop to it.
All most ALL the TRUTH we get comes from the Internet and it is a free market of ideas. DON'T BE FOOLED, YES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES HAVE THE ABILITY TO CONTROL CONTENT ON THE INTERNET AND HAS SHUT DOWN WEB SITES IN THE PAST!
Is December 21 going to be the last day for freedom of speech in America? It could be, some day soon, this email will get me arrested.
Soros wants to shut down ALL news media that does not conform to his ways. This man is EVIL oh so evil in the way he does things. BEWARE and check out the CZARS in place.
This person needs to be shut down. It is sickening how this man manipulates with his riches. He does not want the USA to exist..
Posted by John on 12/13/10 09:42 AM
Nice article, but consider this, Germany is a country not a state..you have states in the US, you have states in Germany, but both the US and Germany are sovereign ""countries""
Posted by True Patriot on 12/13/10 09:26 AM
Julian Assange has close ties to Putin. When Assange was jailed
Putin went bolistic trying to get him out of jail. The Russians are behind these leaks if you follow the dots. Obama is a devout Communist who wishes to destroy and dismantle
America. It all ties together.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Julian Assange has close ties to Putin.
Posted by Tazio Z. on 12/13/10 08:51 AM
Click to view link
Posted by Gerald Bowman on 12/13/10 08:49 AM
I completely agree with your assesment,especially don't read. Lets all get envolved with our govt. Ron Paul excerpt is real information. Lets all look in the mirror and tell that person to get involved with the running of our govt. Thanks for all you do.
Posted by Jack Kristeller on 12/13/10 08:38 AM
I would say this is a very poor analysis of the Wikileaks 'meme' and is full of ambiguous rhetoric. Why it was accepted for publication by TDB is difficult to fathom.
Here's is an example of a schoolboy 'howler'.
"And, the data was sold (!!) by Germany to other countries, so that they might also hunt down their dodgy tax payers."
Dodgy tax payers are payers of dodgy tax – whatever that is. Perhaps the epithet 'dodgy' can be (should be?) applied to all tax. However, a writer should be careful not to fall into the traps that the English language so eagerly offers the unwary.
Moral: check your text thoroughly before submission!
I find Suess' (is that Mr. or Herr Suess?) arguments superficial and not really helpful to further understanding either of Wikileaks or, indeed, of Mr Assange's motives. Sorry. It appears to me, from reading around the subject that although many commentators have concluded that they are not the same, no one as yet has been able to 'deconstruct' Wikileaks' raison d'être conclusively – at least not to my mind. All they seem to come up with is that Wikileaks is somehow an extension of Julian Assange's self-aggrandisement and personal ambition. I believe there is more to it than that. I think more should be made of the fact that others, formerly at Wikileaks, have set up a rival organisation and website.
Posted by Al Kyder on 12/13/10 05:41 AM
Hype, Propaganda or Revolution?
All of the above, its going to be milked for everything there is. Both sides are out swinging in this one. The Governments and big corporations know what is not being released, That is what the buzz is about.
The other thing is it proves what we already know. Actually having the cable is proof of the event in itself. Julian Assange is having his rockstar moment, so I guess he is happy, except for being locked up at the moment, Pity he didn't know Swedish law better and how much it sux.
Everyone has politics and wikileaks and Mr Assange are no exceptions. I would also say that they had an agenda, and do realise information is power, as we have seen with the blackmailing.
As for it being reported. Yes it should. If I might like to browse diplomatic cables just for jollies at the airport on my laptop, then I should be able to. So there is a demand, so the press has a duty to report such things.
Anyhoo, thanks for writing this article, and enjoy the show. We really should be supporting him though, they might come for the Daily Belle next :(
Posted by Jonathan on 12/13/10 05:09 AM
Frank, great article & much needed.
Surely the biggest blow-out story of all, which a whistleblower site would have interest in, is the role of the Rothschilds and their money power in government control, long-term links with European royal families, the push towards one world government and their grotesque role in wars and market manipulation, etc, etc, etc. This is dealt with on the internet and the DB talks of such critical issues on a regular basis. However, Wikileaks leaks leave this gigantic boulder untouched and entirely out of sight!
Posted by AmanfromMars on 12/13/10 03:51 AM
"WikiLeaks " Hype, Propaganda or Revolution?"
You might like to consider adding Intelligence Evolution too, DB, although that may be confined to, and/or constrained by, the smarter analysts and/or algorithms which process Information, both random and specific, into what I suppose both geeks and spooks would classify as Actionable Intelligence ...... for that which can be done with such a facility, truly knows no bounds and is not hindered by anything that can be thought of, and thus is easily wielded as both an Absolutely Fabulous and Exponentially Potent, Potential WMD.
And whether you accept it as being smarter algorithm and/or analyst would entirely depend upon one's own intelligence levels and knowledgeable interest in such fields as deliver Realities and Nurture and Protect the Rise and Expansionism of the Virtual Machine and ITs Steganographic Codes. For some would there be no distinction which would separate and divide the two, with both of them being one and the same whenever cloaked in the meme of the other.
What is most definitely certain, and cannot be denied, is that things are quite obviously not as they were, and it is surely a naive madness, to the point of it being insanely absurd, to think and counsel that the status quo and establishment practices be safe and saved, whenever they are so clearly fighting a rear guard action in a chaotic retreat against superior forces which are both increasing in number and are of unknown strength and provenance.
And that would be something akin to what Donald Rumsfeld advised everyone about, with this classic and epic smart statement ....... "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns " the ones we don't know we don't know"
Posted by George Sign on 12/13/10 03:00 AM
Julian Assange wined and dined at US Embassy " Telegraph today.
Click to view link
This looks like a cover story for when they knew his attendance at the party would surface. It would be nice to think that Assange and Wikileaks are the genuine thing but the more you read between the lines the more it looks like a classic intelligence scam. Propaganda only works if everyone thinks it's true. georgesilver (georgesign)