Mainstream Media and Wikileaks

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Noah_Scape
Mainstream Media and Wikileaks

I might be going up against the Rabble moderators in posting this, but I think there is a need for a thread on the role of mainstream media in the WikiLeaks issue The other thread in this section was moved to "More WikiLeaking" and now that thread is closed due to technical probs.

So, lets try it again? [with apologoies to the mods].

What are they [mainstream media] saying, and what are they NOT saying? There are so many interesting issues raised by these leaks, things that viewers would be interested in watching. The silence is deafening, as they say.

I won't attempt to make a list of "what issues raised by the WikiLeaks should mainstream media be reporting on, but are not", until I see if the mods take this down, and if anyone is interested.

 Howver, I will go as far as to say that examples might be "Saudi Arabia's funding and harbouring of terrorists" ; "spying on Diplomats is illegal according to the U.N. 1947 Headquarters Agreement" ; "should Flanagan be charged with uttering death threats to Assange" ; "the USA's support of coups in South America [Bolivia in 2008; Honduras in 2009 - the media reported at the time that it was a legal coup, as directed to do by the White House, and Ecuador in 2010, etc]" and the US efforts overall to thart socialism in S.A. ; that Ambassador Richard Holbrooke lied to the world when he said bluntly in July 2010: "People think that the US has troops in Pakistan, well, we don't." ' and that the 1979 Iran Hostage release was thwarted by Republicans to make Pres. Carter look bad during his re election campaign.

If those issues were exposed and further investigated on by the mainstream media it would surely be of great interest to their regular viewers.

Buddy Kat

I think the MSM is just as crooked as the governments they are supposed to be reporting on. They are probably waiting for orders from their corporate and government handlers on what to do and what not to do. Then there is the MSM infitration from bodies such as csis...and then their lawyers who are working for a banna repubilc justice system anyways.

That's just in Canada..can you imagine the turmoil elsewhere....I mean what we have here from wiki leaks is the pure unspun unadultrated news and facts..that haven't been manipulated for our consumption.

The list you provided I believe is the tip of the ice burg and there saving the best for last..at least I'm hoping they are!

Spying on diplomats and embassy's spying in the countries they are in are all known functions and should be assumed....it only makes news when they are caught "redhanded " and it serves the present governments purpose....should Flanagen be charged ? Yep...you just have to look at the you tube vid to see he really meant it, and it wasn't a joke.

I wonder if he had said it in a blog and then the next day said it was a joke if he could get away with it? Unfortunately he didn't have a moderator like we do...but they did (solomn) and he said "Are you serious"?.....So yep the guy is guilty, guilty, guilty and even said how to kill the guy!

Watch,  they will do a comedy skit on a national TV show to ridiculize and minimize the impact of the threat mentioned you will see how powerful and criminally corrupt the MSM is....flip the coin and just imagine if it was an NDP aide that said it..Instant hanging, gauranteed...and major branding ...just like the "taliban jack" label....and that was just uttering a sensible legal thought.

 

It is educational in one sense watching it play out but when you realize the ignorance out there wins,  it gets to be quite sickening and sad after a while....thank our lucky stars we have the internet and forums such as these that can at least allow people to view and vent or say things within reason and exercise their free speech.Cool

 

The malicious prosecution happening in Sweden seems to be now costing them dearly....harmless terrorists bent on revenge of Swedens participation in Afghanistan have now acted...the guy probably thought ..What a great country he lived in just to find out that they are a US puppet..I'll bet the obvious  witch hunt of the wiki leaks founder played a role in that guys decision, and threw him over the edge

So yep there will be ramifications as the US is exposed and people find out how deep the clutches of US imperielism is in their very own country and how they have been duped by their governments ...oh it's great to see exposed finally.....just have to hope the people responsible pay and not the innocent and ignorant people they have been manipulating.

Frmrsldr

Regarding Tom Flanagan:

Some things you just don't joke about.

Imagine if we change the victim and the circumstances.

Imagine Flanagan denying the [WW2] Holocaust and pointing out that "he was only joking" - his laughing at the time proves he was joking.

Mr. Flanagan is a Calgary University professor.

Speaks volumes for the quality of professors they (U of C) have.

"This was once a great country. Where the hell did we go wrong?" - Easy Rider.

-=+=-

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the MSM coverage has been too pro-WikiLeaks.

For example, MSM coverage of the DDoS against anti-WikiLeaks targets has been astoundingly poor.  This has almost been universally hailed as a "global uprising", when in fact only the smallest fraction (<10%) of the attacks were voluntary.  The vast majority (>90%) were from your standard Russian-spam style, mafia-related malware botnets.  No grassroots campaign there (unless you include the criminal class).

They've also been repeating the bizarre accusations that Assange's philandering in Sweden is some sort of sex sting orchestrated half-way across the world by spooks in Washington.  Nope, just the fallout of being a cad in a country with over-zealous consent laws.  Makes good press though.

Finally, there has been way too much focus on Assange himself.  This could be just laziness, but it's more likely a result of the need the electronic media has for a person as the focus of the story, instead of an idea or an organization.  Only a few outlets have covered the fact that the real source of the leaks, Bradley Manning, rots in jail while it seems Assange has been spending the money raised in his defense on coke and hoes.  Not to mention that WikiLeaks has its own cadre of whistleblowers who left amid accusations of autocratic leadership and lack of fiscal transparency (again reported in only a very few places).

However, perhaps this is all to be expected.  The MSM is wedded to the claim its has a right to free speech, and the nobility of purpose that justifies it.  So, WikiLeaks must be supported, in principle at least.  (If you look closely, it is only the right-wing buffoon-style columnists who have been attacking Assange.  Everyone else has been neutral to supportive, except of course the actual politicians and diplomats who have to govern, despite this twerp's best efforts).

 

wage zombie

-=+=- wrote:

Only a few outlets have covered the fact that the real source of the leaks, Bradley Manning, rots in jail while it seems Assange has been spending the money raised in his defense on coke and hoes.

Troll.

milo204

i think the MSM has been giving plenty of time to those that are calling for wikileaks to be banned, its membership prosecuted or killed.  As well as justifying and giving much space to those saying how much wikileaks is harming democracy and diplomacy.  As well as focusing more on the sensational and less on things like US interference in copenhagen and it's support for tyrannical regimes.  

That sounds pretty friendly to power if you ask me!

Cueball Cueball's picture

It is pretty amazing that the board will not allow even the smallest inkling of a suggestion that impugns the credibility of the alleged victims in the Julian Assange "Sex by Surprise" case, while his detractors are basically allowed to roam the board and say anything they want when defaming Assange. Even more surprising is that these anti-Assange evangelists are freely allowed to engage in derogatory talk about women, regularly calling women who have had sex with Assange "hos" -- a category that includes, one supposes the women who have allegedly been molested and coerced by Assange.

6079_Smith_W

Happened to hear "Day 6" saturday morning on CBC. The intro bit about the Anonymous attacks on Visa and Mastercard was summed up with: "Did Wikileaks open a pandora's box of hackers bent on mayhem?"

There is a question mark there, and I didn't bother to listen to the piece to see if they bothered to throw any of the blame somewhere besides the victim. Even so it is an outright lie.

Noah_Scape

 ... and there but for the grace of the MSM we go? This focus on the side issues [Assange, Swedish Sex, Anonymous, Bradley Manning} distracts us from the issues raised in the diplomatic cables... and don't forget that more, and perhaps better, juicier, stuff is about to be released.

  What is/will the MSM allow us to see? This is important because 99% of people following this saga will not read the actual cables or even the alternative media's summary of them {eg. "alt media" = Global Research, Truthout, Consortium, AlterNet, Blacklisted News, Narco News, USA Hitman, and sometimes Babble}. People mostly get their view of the wider world through their television.

   Spying on the United Nations diplomats is clearly illegal, it is specifically legislated as such in the UN laws - should Hillary Clinton be charged for that crime? MSM isn't asking that, just as they ignored Flannagan's uttering death threats. It would be headline news if she was charged for her crimes, so why isn't it headline news that she broke that law? - this is manipulation, controlling what we see and hear, giving a false impresssion of what our politicians are doing.

    I am certain that Americans would be interested to know that the vast majority of people in Central and South America  desperately want to have a socialist government but that the USA's secretive efforts to stop socialism from taking hold in those nations has been mostly successfull, as well as brutal, deadly, and funded by illegal drugs. The WikiLeaks cables reveal this, and it should be reported. It isn't being reported on MSM, and we merrily carry on living this fantasy of living in a free world.

   Saudi Arabia is the primary home of terrorism and terrorists, but the investments of elite Americans [i.e. the Bush Family fortune] and the supply of oil needed by America are at stake if Saudi Arabia was ever exposed as "the home of terrorism". It would be a game changer if the watercooler chat in America was "what should be done about Saudi Arabian terrorists?" instead of "look what we did to Iraq when they attacked us on 9/11" [which is what Americans erroneously believe due to MSM propaganda].

    In a broader context, WikiLeaks is offering us a different view of the world, and that is an opportunity to see that we have been brainwashed, propagandised, led to believe in a world not related to reality, but such a revalation is not being televised - it is only available on alternative media and for those of us who read the actual leaked cables for themselves.

 

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

-=+=- wrote:
Only a few outlets have covered the fact that the real source of the leaks, Bradley Manning, rots in jail while it seems Assange has been spending the money raised in his defense on coke and hoes.

Quite aside from the fact that this statement is completely unsubstantiated, "hoes" is oppressive language and unacceptable on babble. -=+=-, your posts are becoming obsessive on this topic. If you can't stop launching hand grenades of unsubstantiated, highly pitched bullshit into these threads, you'll be taking a break.

-=+=-

Catchfire wrote:

-=+=- wrote:
Only a few outlets have covered the fact that the real source of the leaks, Bradley Manning, rots in jail while it seems Assange has been spending the money raised in his defense on coke and hoes.

Quite aside from the fact that this statement is completely unsubstantiated, "hoes" is oppressive language and unacceptable on babble. -=+=-, your posts are becoming obsessive on this topic. If you can't stop launching hand grenades of unsubstantiated, highly pitched bullshit into these threads, you'll be taking a break.

Sorry, I apologize for that comment.  Couldn't resist though.  This phrase is a metaphor  drawn from rap/hip hop (see Lil' Wayne) and meaning roughly "living the high-life in a slightly disreputable fashion".  Which, from all accounts, appears to be how Assange has been conducting himself.  At least according to those who know him best (fellow WikiLeaks employees):

Quote:

Domscheit-Berg is now writing a book about his WikiLeaks experience, and in a copy of a three-page blurb about the book which is being circulated by his German publisher, Domscheit-Berg says about Assange: "It is not for nothing that many who have quit refer to him as a 'dictator.' He thinks of himself as the autocratic ruler of the project and believes himself accountable to no-one."

In a conversation with Reuters a few weeks ago, Domscheit-Berg, who is also creating a disclosure website called Open Leaks as a rival to WikiLeaks, said: "I have been working with him for three years. I didn't feel until the beginning of this year that this is where we were going. Maybe it's the fame that went to his head, or feeling that he could get away with it... The moment you start to say that (the allegations against Assange) are a smear campaign, you are using the power of your organization to protect an individual."

[url=http://www.cnbc.com/id/40644110]CNBC/Reuters[/url].

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Guys a dweeb, obviously.  The guy who is writing this is the real egomaniac, since of course he would be no one to anyone were it not for the fact that he can conveniently be used to attack wikileaks by continuing to attack Assange.

Fotheringay-Phipps

More defections from WikiLeaks.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/breakaway-wikileaks-staff-form-new-service/article1836343/

Is Mr Assange perhaps that crucial bit too dim to realize that he too is now part of the media circus? Did he not realize that he must, like Caesar's wife, be above suspicion? Compare his career to that of Ralph Nader. Nader's monastic life must be terribly austere, but he embraced it because he knew he must be stainless. From the sound of the disgruntled employees, Assange has dipped a toe in the culture of impunity. Unless of course they're the sort of chronic malcontents who join unions.

It's a shame the content of the leaks has been overshadowed, but Mr Assange should perhaps have realized that he is not the right person to be the public face of the organization.

pogge

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

More defections from WikiLeaks.

Not really. They're the same defections we've already heard about but people keep reporting them as if they're new. There can't be that many defections from an organization that was never that large in terms of numbers in the first place.

 

contrarianna

Among the best commentators on the media/government lies and spin about Wikileaks is the almost always excellent constitutional lawyer and blogger, Glenn Greenwald:

Quote:
The media's authoritarianism and WikiLeaks
By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below - Update II - Update III)

After I highlighted the multiple factual inaccuracies in Time's WikiLeaks article yesterday (see Update V) -- and then had an email exchange with its author, Michael Lindenberger -- the magazine has now appended to the article what it is calling a "correction."  In reality, the "correction" is nothing of the sort; it is instead a monument to the corrupted premise at the heart of American journalism....

read the rest of the wide-ranging commentary here:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/10/wikileaks_m...

6079_Smith_W

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

Did he not realize that he must, like Caesar's wife, be above suspicion?

Without applying this to Assange (because we still don't know for sure what, if anything untoward, happened) I agree with this absolutely as a rule for anyone who challenges those with a lot of power.

As Bob Dylan said, To live outside the law you must be honest".

 

-=+=-

 

pogge wrote:

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

More defections from WikiLeaks.

Not really. They're the same defections we've already heard about but people keep reporting them as if they're new. There can't be that many defections from an organization that was never that large in terms of numbers in the first place.

The significance of the defection reported here, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, is that he was Assange's "right-hand man" and "until late September was the public face of WikiLeaks" (both quotes from the article).  Elsewhere he has been described as WikiLeaks "second in command."

The further seriousness of the defection is that it has been the technical people who are leaving (the ones doing the actual work, not grandstanding in the media, shagging volunteers etc.):

Quote:

The defection of a handful of core staff – who reportedly include most of the computer-literate people who have assisted Mr. Assange in the past two years – illustrates deep division between those who believe the purpose of WikiLeaks is to make government and other organizations more transparent by exposing their inner communications, and those, such as Mr. Assange, who have a more ideological mission.

The Icelandic MP who gave them a base and some stability in Iceland has also left the organization.

As for the size of WikiLeaks, 500 people is the size I've heard reported (link can be dug up on request).  The point is though, that it is the important people who are leaving.

pogge

And again, I'm not arguing that the defections didn't take place. I'm suggesting they took place almost three months ago -- late September -- despite the fact that in recent days various media outlets have issued breathless reports as if this is breaking news. The alternative organization that's been announced is new (and I think there's room for different approaches) but their complaints about Assange aren't. Same with Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic MP you refer to. She's been talking to anyone in the media who will listen for months. Obviously these people have seriously different ideas about how to do things but all this isn't something that just cropped up this past weekend. And as skilled as some of the defectors may be, WL is still up and running even after themselves being on the receiving end of DDoS attacks.

Cueball Cueball's picture

-=+=- wrote:

The significance of the defection reported here, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, is that he was Assange's "right-hand man" and "until late September was the public face of WikiLeaks" (both quotes from the article).  Elsewhere he has been described as WikiLeaks "second in command."

That is interesting because I had no idea he was the public face of Wikileaks. I have actually been casually following Wikileaks for the last couple of years, but did not become aware of any the personalities behind it until Assange surfaced to do media work around "Collateral Murder".

This guy is the hitherto unknown "public face" of Wikileaks (I read it in an article so it must be true). sounds like a bit of an underwhelming ass-licker with a puffed up sense of importance, who doesn't want to step on anyone's toes, especially the US government. Sounds like a great candidate for setting up a double blind operation to trap leakers.

Fundamentally, the point he does not understand, if he is sincere, is that there probably is no other way to run an organization like Wikileaks, and retain integrity unless it is a tightly controlled top-down hierarchical structure in order to be able to provide the kind of security that is necessary to protect leaked sources. Such organizations are rarely transparent, and hardly ever egalitarian. There isn't any way around that.

Amazing really that the public face of Wikileaks could not manage to make himself renowned the world over as the public face, and perhaps this indicates that actually he sucked at PR, and Assange sidelined him.

Story sounds like sour grapes to me. But that is just me reading teal leaves. But that seems to be the method you use for coming to your "deductions", so I thought I would have a go,

wage zombie
6079_Smith_W

Further to Fotheringay-Phipps's point at #12:

Forbes Magazine blogger Kashmir Hill just published a piece on Assange's presumed OK Cupid profile (with photographic evidence that seems to confirm his identity).

Although there is nothing legally damning there, it is embarrassing, unfortunate, and a highly ironic turn.

...and a harsh lesson that perhaps one does have to live a cloistered live to engage in this work.

 

pogge

6079_Smith_W wrote:

...and a harsh lesson that perhaps one does have to live a cloistered live to engage in this work.

 

Absolutely. Every journalist should swear a vow of celibacy.

 

6079_Smith_W

pogge wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

...and a harsh lesson that perhaps one does have to live a cloistered live to engage in this work.

 

Absolutely. Every journalist should swear a vow of celibacy.

 

Or be careful at least, or expect to have his or her life picked to pieces and spread around in the media.

Like it or not, sometimes a person in a sensitive position has to be more careful than the rest of us or be prepared for something like this. My saying so does not mean I think it is a good thing.

 

pogge

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Or be careful at least, or expect to have his or her life picked to pieces and spread around in the media.

Or we could all ignore the obvious attempts of establishment mouthpieces like Forbes to distract us with scandal-mongering and we could concentrate on what's important. Just a thought.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

One of my favourite cultural critics, Lauren Berlant, has this to say about the public's appetite for scandal: "Whenever there's a sex scandal, I feel sorry for sex."

pogge

But I think the quote of the day goes to [url=http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/8510437/7news-exclusive-assange-re... himself[/url]:

Quote:
"We now know that Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and others are instruments of US foreign policy," he said.

"It's not something we knew before."

 

6079_Smith_W

pogge wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Or be careful at least, or expect to have his or her life picked to pieces and spread around in the media.

Or we could all ignore the obvious attempts of establishment mouthpieces like Forbes to distract us with scandal-mongering and we could concentrate on what's important. Just a thought.

Pogge, I would direct you to the title of this thread: "Mainstream Media and Wikileaks" 

Rather than tut-tutting me, I would ask what else you would expect them to come up with? You want to close your eyes and ears against the backlash and pretend it doesn't exist? be my guest.

And besides, it got your attention.

-=+=-

pogge wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

...and a harsh lesson that perhaps one does have to live a cloistered live to engage in this work.

 

Absolutely. Every journalist should swear a vow of celibacy.

 

Disagree.

Every journalist should wear a condom when their partner asks them to, and not shag people when they're asleep and can't consent.

That seems like straight-forward common sense and good manners to me.  Though perhaps this quality is in short supply among journalists (or maybe just Mr. Assange).

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Or perhaps, you shouldn't use for now, unsubstantiated allegations as fodder.

Noah_Scape

Higher standards for public figures is a good suggestion that is not often followed. I suppose if I am willing to use personal indiscretions as fodder for complaining about politicians, I should hold Assange up to that standard too.... but we didn't ELECT him to his position.

I am disappointed that Rabblers are slamming Assange for his sexual indiscretions [which have little to do with the issues]

6079_Smith_W

@ Noah_Scape

When people in Washington urged Lincoln to fire Ulysses Grant because he was a drunkard, Lincoln's response was to ask what brand of whiskey he drank and send a barrel to each of his other generals.

I don't think personal habits or even indiscretions (however one defines that) are necessarily grounds for determining how fit a person is to do his or her job - even a politician. But the fact is there are people who do care and can cause a great deal of distraction from the job that person should be doing. That's why most politicians who get to any position of power get vetted to make sure their handlers at least know about any skeletons that might be in their closets.

Of course people can live however they want, but they should be aware that if they have something in their life that can be exploited, there is a chance someone will use it against them. That is exactly what we are seeing in the media.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Of course people can live however they want, but they should be aware that if they have something in their life that can be exploited, there is a chance someone will use it against them. That is exactly what we are seeing in the media.

Yeah, right, sure.

I don't care what Assange has done in his personal life. I don't care if he is innocent or guilty of the non-charges apparently made against him and untried in any court. Any publicity in that regard is character assassination.

Now, if he were Bill Clinton, it would be very different. Let's say, hypothetically, some President of the United States used his position of power and authority to fuck some young intern - then lied about it, to the public, to his wife and family. He would be finito, Benito - dead and gone. Not only would all his good work as President go down the drain once exposed (so to speak) - he could kiss his post-presidential speaking engagements goodbye. No reputable institution would ever invite such a miscreant to pollute its premises.

But people such as Assange must be holier than thou. Otherwise, self-righteous suckers will go get their pitchforks when instructed to by Obama and Palin and Tom Flanagan. I'm not being critical of Assange. I'm just sayin', for his own protection, he should go commit suicide somewhere in partial atonement of his grave sins.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist

I don't think the standard is necessarily different for a politician or other public figure (realizing that personal behaviour and indiscretions can cover a lot of things, and that many of these situations are unique). I don't think anyone should rule out the possibility that sometimes a not-very-nice person is the right one for the job.

But while I think we agree in part that people should not be persecuted for their personal behaviour, all the moralizing in the world isn't going to change the fact that it happens, and that people should at least be aware enough to protect themselves.

Noah_Scape

The Australian media has come out in SUPPORT of WikiLeaks!!

> http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/15-2

Their statement:

December 14, 2010

As journalists, activists, artists, scholars and citizens, we condemn the array of threats and attacks on the journalist organization WikiLeaks. After the website's decision, in collaboration with several international media organizations, to publish hundreds of classified State Department diplomatic cables, many pundits, commentators and prominent US politicians have called for harsh actions to be taken to shut down WikiLeaks' operations.

Major corporations like Amazon.com, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have acted to disrupt the group's ability to publish. US legal authorities and others have repeatedly suggested, without providing any evidence, that WikiLeaks' posting of government secrets is a form of criminal behavior--or that at the very least, such activity should be made illegal. "To the extent there are gaps in our laws," Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed (11/29/10), "we will move to close those gaps."

Throughout this episode, journalists and prominent media outlets have largely refrained from defending WikiLeaks' rights to publish material of considerable news value and obvious public interest. It appears that these media organizations are hesitant to stand up for this particular media outlet's free speech rights because they find the supposed political motivations behind WikiLeaks' revelations objectionable.

But the test for one's commitment to freedom of the press is not whether one agrees with what a media outlet publishes or the manner in which it is published. WikiLeaks is certainly not beyond criticism. But the overarching consideration should be the freedom to publish in a democratic society--including the freedom to publish material that a particular government would prefer be kept secret. When government officials and media outlets declare that attacks on a particular media organization are justified, it sends an unmistakably chilling message about the rights of anyone to publish material that might rattle or offend established powers.

We hereby stand in support of the WikiLeaks media organization, and condemn the attacks on their freedom as an attack on journalistic freedoms for all.

 

 

Noah_Scape

Other cables leaked tonight, but so far not seen or heard in the mainstream media, claim that:

The president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using "mild blackmail" to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region.

American energy firm Chevron was in discussions with Tehran about developing an Iraq-Iran cross-border oilfield, despite US sanctions against Iran.

{found in this article> http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/16

---

These are examples of things our governments know goes on, but are afraid to tell us. We elect them to serve us, and although that does allow our government to act on our behalf there is nonetheless a line being crossed here where "the will of the people" is ignored. Corporations are being allowed to break laws even where the "will of the people" would surely not allow it.

WikiLeaks has done a great service to making people aware of just how far over the line the US government has gone.

 

 

Noah_Scape

The WikiLeaked cables "exposes US complicity and cover-up of Iraq torture". These are, as I understand, WikiLeaked as "Iraq War Logs", which are published at this site [which I cannot seem to navigate] > http://warlogs.owni.fr/report-id/319414/

I bet we don't hear one word of this on mainstream media.

Quoted from GR article >

  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21604

   Explosive revelations contained in the Iraq War Logs provided further evidence of the Pentagon's role in the systematic torture of Iraqi citizens by the U.S.-installed post-Saddam regime.

   Multiple files document how U.S. officials failed to investigate thousands of cases of abuse, torture, rape and murder.

   The Pentagon was fully cognizant of the nightmare playing out in Iraqi jails and prisons - the beatings with rifle butts and steel cables, the electrocutions, the flesh sliced with razors, the limbs hacked-off with chainsaws, the acid and chemical burns on battered corpses found along the roads, the eyes gouged out or the bones lacerated by the killers' tool of choice: the power drill.

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thomas Walkom: Assange may be a cad but he's evening the score

excerpt:

 

They watch us. We watch them. Tit for tat.

pogge

Courtesy of [url=http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/18/wikileaks]G... Greenwald[/url], this is where we juxtapose. Joe Biden on Thursday on MSNBC discussing the embassy cables published by WikiLeaks:

Quote:
I don't think there's any damage. I don't think there's any substantive damage, no. Look, some of the cables are embarrassing . . . but nothing that I'm aware of that goes to the essence of the relationship that would allow another nation to say: "they lied to me, we don't trust them, they really are not dealing fairly with us."

Joe Biden on Friday in a taped interview for tomorrow's Meet the Press:

Quote:
This guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of other parts of the world. He's made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends. For example, in my meetings -- you know I meet with most of these world leaders -- there is a desire to meet with me alone, rather than have staff in the room: it makes things more cumbersome -- so it has done damage.

And incidentally, [url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374510,00.asp]Bank of America[/url] has now joined the list of financial institutions refusing WikiLeaks transactions.

skdadl

I haven't been around for a while, but I am astonished at how ill-informed and toxic some of this discussion is.

I'm not going to do the work for you b/c I already write far too much about this, but if you actually are interested in, eg, the background to Bradley Manning's case, you will google Glenn Greenwald at Salon and search his article, from earlier this year, on Adrian Lamo and Bradley Manning, not to mention Kevin Poulsen of Wired magazine. You will then understand that when Daniel "Schmitt" (Domscheit-Berg) babbled to Poulsen and to Newsweek (in August), something had to be done.

Daniel is the ONLY WL staffer who has left, the only one. He was suspended for highly suspect activities (he's also married to Microsoft's head PR person in Berlin), and he quit a month later. The few other people you've heard of -- Birgitta Jonsdottir, eg -- are self-promoters who make a lot of noise for similarly suspect reasons, but they are the few names North Americans have heard of, and North Americans always fall for names they've seen in the msm. The Icelander who matters is Kristin Hrafnsson, who has taken Daniel's place as second official spokesperson for WL -- the other staffers have to remain anonymous, but there aren't many of them, and trust me, Birgitta would never have been one.

There's lots to read that isn't trash, y'know. Try starting here: [URL=http://wlcentral.org/]WL Central.[/URL]

I haven't seen the earlier discussions, but I'm guessing from comments above -- Cue @6, eg -- that theory-spinning has driven out solid research on the obviously corrupt prosecution going on in Sweden. If there's only one way to be a feminist on babble -- ie, white middle-class American egocentricity showing-off and to hell with the law and facts -- then count me out.

Unionist

Skdadl, it isn't entirely as it appears. It is clear to almost everyone here that Assange and Wikileaks are the target of a massive onslaught, from the U.S. ruling circles (all factions) to Tom Flanagan to the U.K. ruling circles and onward. Character assassination is worth exposing and understanding, but not responding to. The more lies are hurled at Assange, the more clear it becomes what a threat he represents to the established order.

My own opinions were expressed [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/media/mainstream-media-and-wikileaks#comment-120..., in rather unadorned terms and heavy sarcasm.

And welcome back - we need your voice here, even if it can only be occasional.

 

wage zombie

And if people aren't so into reading, Juice Media has another Rap News out with more on Wikileaks.  This is a great video to popularize, breaking the issues down in a way people can understand.

Rap News 6 - Wikileaks' Cablegate: the truth is out there‬

skdadl

About Bradley Manning's defence fund: FACT: From the beginning, there has been an independent fund established for Manning, and from the beginning, WL linked to that site on their own main site. WL also offered, at the same time, to allow their own donors to designate further money to go to Manning's defence. It is either ignorant or malicious (often the latter) to claim that Manning's whole defence has depended on money collected through WL. Similarly, since WL money goes through an ultra-respectable German foundation, the Wau Holland foundation, who do its accounting and auditing, it is either ignorant or malicious to claim that Assange or anyone else in WL is misspending any of the money they collect; at the end of the year (whenever that is), Wau Holland will publish an accounting of who got what at WL and what for. This is the first year that WL has solicited and received public donations; previously it was entirely funded by a very few staff members and some volunteers. Assange's defence fund is entirely separate, and he has some money of his own (he was a successful software inventor in an earlier life, eh?).

For obvious reasons and on principle, WL cannot do more than support Bradley Manning as a brave whistleblower. In the first place, if you know anything about their systems, you know that they truly do not know who their sources are, and they couldn't exist if they did. Sources would not submit to them if they weren't assured of that level of anonymity. In the second, if they find out through other means who a source is, they destroy that information -- ie, they won't out people. And in the third, they obviously don't want to incriminate themselves, although there is almost no way they could do that, given the way the submissions systems work.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Woo hoo!! skdadl sighting!!

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

My own opinions were expressed [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/media/mainstream-media-and-wikileaks#comment-120..., in rather unadorned terms and heavy sarcasm.

Since my words are being used to respond to someone else, I should point out that I agree (and have said so already) that the Swedish government is almost certainly exploiting this situation to attack Assange for his Wikileaks work.

Your response was to my point that I think people doing any risky work might want to be careful to not leave themselves open to unnecessary attack. That is not quite the same as saying that Assange should not be able to live his life with a reasonable degree of freedom. You may disagree - and of course it is up to each person to assess risk for his or herself - but I don't think advising people to be careful can be equated with opposing their work, nor supporting the people who are attacking them.

And for that matter, I don't see that it is a difficult idea to separate whatever grounds his accusers had for going to the police from the probablility that that case - if there is indeed a case - is being exploited by the authorities.

To say that  we should not ignore or dismiss the accusations does not mean that I support the way in which Assange's opponents have exploited that situation.

Speaking generally, and without making assumptions about Assange, there are enough cases of highly intelligent people undone by hubris, carelessness, or a sense of invincibility.

You don't have to look any further than our prime minister, who fortunately for us seems to have a knack for being his own worst enemy. If he had less of a blind spot and as much control over himself as he does over those around him I think he would already have that elusive majority he will likely never get.

 

 

Sineed

skdadl wrote:
If there's only one way to be a feminist on babble -- ie, white middle-class American egocentricity showing-off and to hell with the law and facts -- then count me out.

Skdadl, what do you think of Naomi Wolf's take on this situation?  Like here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/interpol-the-worlds-datin_b_793...

Naomi Wolf wrote:
Dear Interpol:

As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating....Both alleged victims are also upset that he began dating a second woman while still being in a relationship with the first. (Of course, as a feminist, I am also pleased that the alleged victims are using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings. That's what our brave suffragette foremothers intended!).

And especially here: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/post_1435_b_797188.html

Naomi Wolf wrote:
Sweden's Serial Negligence in Prosecuting Rape Further Highlights The Politics Behind Julian Assange's Arrest

Guess what: Sweden has HIGHER rates of rape than other comparable countries -- including higher than the US and Britain, higher than Denmark and Finland -- and the same Swedish authorities going after Assange do a worse job prosecuting reported rapes than do police and the judiciary in any comparable country. And these are flat-out, unambiguous reported rape cases, not the 'sex by surprise' Assange charges involving situations that began consensually.

She goes on to explain how Sweden has been slammed by Amnesty International for its poor record in prosecuting rapists.

I was arguing with my husband about this, and he played devil's advocate, suggesting that Assange's persecution by Sweden didn't necessarily have anything to do with politics - could be, the very prominence of Assange motivates Sweden to pull up their socks, and prosecute a sexual abuser properly, the fame/notoriety of the perpetrator thus helping Sweden with its poor image in this area.  

The notion that Sweden is acting entirely in its own interests and not due to pressure from Washington strains credibility IMV.

 

Roscoe

I agree with Naomi Wolf. After reading the Guardian's expose of the leaked evidence of the Swedish prosecutor, it appears that Mr. Assange is certainly an inconsiderate wanker and, perhaps, guilty of sexual offenses.

These two women who charge Mr. Assange insist that they only went to police after Mr. Assange refused HIV testing.

This situation is personal and should be given distance from Wikileaks' activities.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

See, this is why I tried to close the previous attempt at a MSM/Wikileaks thread. This thread is not about the rape charges against JA. The most recent version of that thread can be found here.

The thread about Wikileaks in general, can be found here.

This thread is about a very specific argument that N_S has cooked up, as per:

Quote:
What are they [mainstream media] saying, and what are they NOT saying? There are so many interesting issues raised by these leaks, things that viewers would be interested in watching. The silence is deafening, as they say.

I won't attempt to make a list of "what issues raised by the WikiLeaks should mainstream media be reporting on, but are not", until I see if the mods take this down, and if anyone is interested.

Please try to keep them straight!

Sineed

If this thread is about mainstream media and Wikileaks, then my introduction of Naomi Wolf's comments to the discussion is completely on-topic.  The MSM brings the most knee-jerk reactions to the discussion, such as a derailing of discussions of the contents of the documents in favour of publishing prurient speculations on Assange's sexual quirks, his social media profiles, and suchlike.  

Like it or not, Assange's persecution by Sweden is central to the story.  Naomi Wolf points to the possibility of towering hypocrisy on the part of Sweden, explaining how Sweden, contrary to what is written in the MSM, is far from being at the forefront of women's rights.

It's not so much the women's allegations, but the media response to them.

6079_Smith_W

While we can try to dismiss rumour and public (mis)perception we should not forget they are real and powerful forces that frequently have a greater effect on the outcome of history than facts.

It doesn't matter if we are right that Assange's personal life has no bearing on the political attack that is taking place. The fact is the warrant and the case behind it is a big part of what the media and the public are going to pay attention to and we ignore that at our peril. Even many people who support wikileaks  have an interest in the extradition, so at this point, for good or ill, it is news.

On the other hand, nothing we do or say here is going to alter the legal process which has been put in motion either. We can put pressure on Britain, Sweden and the U.S. with respect to any extradition order which may be coming from the U.S.

But as for the warrant that is already laid, that is probably up to a small group of legal minds at this point.

 

Unionist

How do the neo-Nazis get babble on their list?

Reported this piece of shit, awaiting a ban.

 

Pope Teddywang Pope Teddywang's picture

This guy Assange has gotten an awful lot of Mainstream Media coverage for someone who supposedly presents a threat to 'received wisdom'.

The standard practice with people like this is to shut them out, for years if necessary

( see David Orchard

Mike Ruppert

David Ray Griffin

Sibel Edmonds

etc. ), not draw attention to them.

This isn't normal.

 Just sayin'.

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