STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
WikiLeaks Controversy Dances Around Real Issues
By Staff News & Analysis - February 15, 2013

WikiLeaks is a Rare Truth-teller. Smearing Julian Assange is Shameful … WikiLeaks is a rare example of a newsgathering organisation that exposes the truth. Julian Assange is by no means alone. Last December, I stood with supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in the bitter cold outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Candles were lit; the faces were young and old and from all over the world. They were there to demonstrate their human solidarity with someone whose guts they admired. They were in no doubt about the importance of what Assange had revealed and achieved, and the grave dangers he now faced. Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate. – New Statesman

Dominant Social Theme: This poor man, unjustly accused, has more courage than you or me.

Free-Market Analysis: It is unfortunate that Julian Assange faces extradition to Sweden and then to the United States but even though John Pilger is defending him, we have a hard time letting go of our suspicions regarding the WikiLeaks founder. We've written about them before. Just search for "WikiLeaks" and "Daily Bell." Or "Comes a Blond Stranger."

Who is Pilger? Interestingly, he is a much-feted Australian journalist who is anti-war and anti-American. According to Wikipedia, "He has had a long association with the Daily Mirror, and writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman magazine." Pilger has twice won "Britain's Journalist of the Year Award."

Pilger, despite his anti-establishment views, is obviously a member of the establishment he derides. This is often the irony of certain critics who "speak truth to power." One of Pilger's main causes is Palestinian freedom – certainly a worthy cause that merits attention – but of all the injustices on Earth, Palestinian freedom is but one of them.

In Africa and Asia, hundreds of millions or billions live in abject poverty on one or two dollars a day. And war, famine and resource scarcity affect much of the globe. Most of this, from what we can tell, is the doing of a tiny power elite that draws its impossible wealth from central banking and wants to create a formal world government.

You will probably search Mr. Pilger's writings in vain for revelations on this particular topic. Pilger, despite his bravery and honesty, devotes much of his professional life to reporting on some issues but not others.

Assange, for instance, has stood up for certain kinds of investigations but has derided those who don't believe in the current official story about 9/11 as conspiracists who are distracting attention from "real conspiracies." Pilger nowhere in his article mentions this. Presumably, for Pilger, 9/11 is not a major issue, or not in this article anyway.

Pilger's statement is a proximate response to negative publicity Assange has received in the New Statesman, for which Pilger writes. The article Pilger responds to was written by a former supporter, Jemima Khan, and is entitled "Jemima Khan on Julian Assange: how the WikiLeaks founder alienated his allies."

One reads the article searching in vain for the fundamental accusation against Julian Assange – which is that he has allowed WikiLeaks to be a conduit for US intelligence that has distracted the US public from real and important issues regarding US interests and activities.

WikiLeaks leaks have often included "stolen" analyses by US State Department personnel that are embarrassing to various parties but seldom if ever has the US overseas apparatus come into serious question. Instead, WikiLeaks leaks have tended to support this apparatus by utilizing it as a source of the "leaks."

Assange himself has a long and honorable correspondent relationship with the Economist magazine, which is widely held by a faction of the alternative media to be a manipulated medium of the very power elite that Assange claims to be fighting. Assange's lawyers are reportedly in the service of the Rothschilds.

Pilger does not have to rebut any of this because Ms. Khan mentions none of it. She is concerned in her article with Assange's personal behavior and how he tends to alienate supporters with his paranoid and arrogant personality.

And it is this point of view that Pilger is striking back against (see above excerpt). Both Pilger and Khan end up discussing issues that, while interesting, don't seem to delve into the real controversy surrounding WikiLeaks – which is whether it was set up as a red herring to confuse people over issues of real importance being presented by the alternative 'Net media.

Even Assange's alliances with the Washington Post, New York Times – and other facilities of the mainstream media with evident and obvious relationships to US Intel agencies – are questionable. Project Mockingbird likely still exists.

This operation sought to ensure major media outlets cooperated with the US government and the CIA on issues of national security and has never been rescinded, so far as we know. By working closely with the mainstream media, does WikiLeaks provide certain institutions with a credibility that they do not deserve?

Why didn't Assange align himself with elements of the alternative news media rather than bought-and-paid-for resources of nascent world government? These are issues that seem to escape Pilger, who works, for better or worse, with some of the same elements. Here's more from John Pilger's article, excerpted above (paragraphing ours):

…To Khan, the Ellsbergs and Yoko Onos, the Knightleys and Loaches, and the countless people they represent, have all been duped. We are all "blinkered". We are all mindlessly "devoted". We are all cultists. In the final words of her j'accuse, Khan describes Assange as "an Australian L. Ron Hubbard". She must have known such gratuitous abuse would make a snappy headline — as indeed it did across the press in Australia.

I respect Jemima Khan for backing humanitarian causes, such as the Palestinians. She supports for Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, of which I am a judge, and my own film-making. But her attack on Assange is specious and plays to a familiar gallery whose courage is tweeted from a smart-phone.

One of Khan's main complaints is that Assange refused to appear in a film about WikiLeaks by the American director Alex Gibney, which she "executive produced". Assange knew the film would be neither "nuanced" nor "fair" and "represent the truth", as Khan claimed, and that its very title WikiLeaks, We Steal Secrets, was a gift to the fabricators of a bogus criminal indictment that could doom him to one of America's hell-holes.

Having interviewed axe grinders and turncoats, Gibney abuses Assange as paranoid. DreamWorks is also making a film about the "paranoid" Assange. Oscars all round.

Again, all of this is beside the point. The real question is: What has WikiLeaks exposed that is truly detrimental to the world's most significant and abiding conspiracy – which is being fomented by a tiny power elite that wants to create world government and will stop at nothing to gain it?

In fact, the above statement is not one that Julian Assange, John Pilger or even Jemima Khan would even recognize or provide credence to. One can therefore characterize the assertions and counter-assertions regarding Julian Assange as a kind of elaborate dance that avoids substantive questions regarding Assange and WikiLeaks.

After Thoughts

Interestingly, the comments that appear beneath Pilger's article allude to the issues we've mentioned in this analysis. If Pilger's readers are aware of the real controversies surrounding Assange and WikiLeaks why aren't Mr. Pilger or Jemima Khan?

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
loading