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Secrets of Wikileaks
Assange's Deal With the Devil
By ISRAEL SHAMIR
Part One of
my report last weekend here on the CounterPunch site I showed that
the US was secretly funneling money into Belarus to fund the
unelected opposition. Previously, the claim had been routinely
denied. Now we have sterling proof. It is engraved in a confidential
cable from a US Embassy to the State Department. It is undeniable.
is, if you found the cable and were able to understand it.
And you happened to understand the political background of the
cables are raw data. Not as raw as Afghan Diaries, the previous coup
of Wikileaks, but still quite raw. They are written in obscure state
department lingo; much of the story is implied, as the cables were
composed for colleagues and definitely not for strangers. They
simply have to be explained, interpreted, annotated and then finally
delivered to the reader. Dumping raw cables onto the web would not
do: you’d never find the relevant cables and probably you wouldn’t
be able to understand its significance even if you did find it.
main job of a newspaper or news website is to process raw data and
transmit it to a reader. This work requires an experienced and
highly qualified staff. Not every newspaper or website has such
resources, and none of the independent sites can compete with the
mainstream outlets for readership. If all the cables were published
in a local newspaper in Oklahoma or Damascus, who would read them?
In order to get our news to you, our reader, we are forced to make
use of the dreaded mainstream media.
is why Julian Assange chose to partner with a few important Western
liberal newspapers of the mainstream media. Let us make it perfectly
clear that we understand that all mainstream media are at their
heart embedded; in bed with the Pentagon, the CIA, with
Wall Street and all its counterparts. Let us also make it clear that
we understand that not every journalist on the staff of The
Guardian, Le Monde or The NY Times is a
crooked enforcer of imperialist ideology; no, not even every editor.
We do understand that not everyone is willing to sacrifice their
career to field a story that will attract storms of protest. From
this point of view, the difference between the soft liberal and the
hardline imperialist media is one of style only.
instance, if they plan to attack Afghanistan, the hardline Fox News
would simply demand a high-profile strike against the sand rats,
while the liberal Guardian would publish a Polly Toynbee
piece bewailing the bitter fate of Afghani women. The bottom line is
the same: war.
Modern embedded media constitute the most powerful weapon of our
rulers. The modern Russian writer Victor Pelevin succinctly
explained their modus operandi: "The embedded media does
not care about the content and does not attempt to control it; they
just add a drop of poison to the stream in the right moment."
Furthermore, they skilfully arrange the information in order to
mislead us. The headline might scream MURDER MOST FOUL but the
article describes an unavoidable accident. We do not look beyond the
headline, but the headline has been written by the editor and not
the journalist who penned the article. Twitter is nothing but a mess
of headlines; we are being trained to think in terms of slogans.
In the case of Belarus, the Guardian
published three cables the day before elections in order to maximize
the exposure and to influence the results of the election. One of
the headlines, published on
December 18, 2010
said: “WikiLeaks: Lukashenka’s [sic] fortune estimated at 9 billion
USD”. It was a very misleading headline. Wikileaks made no claims
about Lukashenko’s wealth. Read the entire article, and you will
find that it was nothing more than a US embassy employee who had
heard a rumor and transmitted it to the State Department. Only in
the second to last sentence of the article do they mention that the
cable admits: “the embassy employee couldn’t verify the sources
[sic!] or accuracy of the information”.
corrected headline would read: “Wikileaks reveals: US diplomats
spread unverifiable rumors about Lukashenko’s personal wealth.” But
the Guardian made it appear as if it was Wikileaks itself
that made the claim.
us suppose that one day Wikileaks will publish cables from the
Russian Embassy in Washington to Moscow Centre. Shall we expect to
see in the Guardian a screaming headline like: "WikiLeaks:
The Mossad behind 9/11!!"
Isn’t it more likely we would be soberly told: “Wikileaks reveals
that Russian diplomats in Washington report the persistent rumors on
Israeli involvement in 9/11”?
on Belarus published on the same day was headlined: “US embassy
cables: Belarus president justifies violence against opponents”.
Again, a misleading headline, and again the majority will never read
beyond it. In reality, this very interesting report contains the
debriefing of the Estonian Foreign Minister after his long chat with
President Lukashenko. The most interesting factoid was deliberately
not highlighted in the article: Lukashenko told the
Estonian visitor that the opposition in Belarus would never unite,
and only existed “to live off western grants.” When you read the
article, your eye gravitates to the highlighted section, skipping
the valuable information just above. In fact, the highlighted
section itself says nothing about justifying violence
against opponents. The text says something completely different:
“Lukashenko stated the opposition should expect to get hurt when
they attack the riot police”. Again, it is sterling truth: in every
country, people who attack riot police end up getting hurt. In
Israel they also get shot, but that’s another story.
the Guardian made use of Wikileaks in order to influence
Belarus voters and Western audiences, and prepare them for an
Election Day riot.
here we are: in order to get valuable data to the people, Julian
Assange had to make a deal with the devil: the mainstream media. It
was most natural for him to deal with the liberal flank of the
mainstream, for the hardliners would not even touch it. But since
the liberal papers are also embedded, they freely distort the cables
by attaching misleading headlines and misquoting from the text.
me, a Guardian reader since I worked at the BBC in the
mid-1970s, it is painful to say that the Guardian has
become an impostor. This paper pretends to provide the thinking
liberal and socialist people of England with true information; but
at the moment of truth, the Guardian, like a good Blairite,
will switch sides.
Next, the Guardian apparently decided
to destroy Wikileaks after using it. The Moor did his job, the
Moor may go. The Guardian’s embedded editors,
understanding full well that the Wikileaks crew won’t be tamed or
subverted, are preparing a book called
The Rise and Fall of Wikileaks.
It’s not quite released yet; they have still to arrange for the
will be done in two ways.
First, by slandering the Wikileaks chief
Julian Assange. Destroy the head, and the body will wither and
die. This is not the place to deal with allegations in detail,
but I’ve never seen an article more crooked and lying than the
Guardian published recently on Assange - and I’ve seen some
beauties. It is trial by media in the best tradition of Pravda 1937.
Its author Nick Davies ingratiated himself into the vicinity of the
trustful Julian and then bit him in the best scorpion’s manner.
Davies wrote years ago in his Flat Earth News that the
practice of journalism in the UK is "bent"; now he proven it beyond
a doubt by his own writing.
There is no doubt: Assange never raped. The
day after the alleged rape, the alleged victim boasted to her
friends in a twitter that she had a wonderful time with the alleged
rapist. It was all
Moreover, if Swedish authorities are primarily concerned about
prosecuting Julian for rape, why do they attach a special condition
to their demands of extradition, specifically reserving the right to
pass him on to US authorities?
Nick Davies clearly performed a cruel hatchet
job. But was publishing the article a simple case of bad judgement
by the Guardian, or the beginning of a smear campaign?
"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy
action", as James Bond in Goldfinger put it neatly. Here is
was surprisingly an attempt to smear Assange by association with
This last attack was written by Andrew Brown
“The Guardian‘s resident moron”, and with good reason. I
always enjoy discussing my views, though Brown completely missed the
subtleties and nuances of my writings. Andrew Brown is a man who
understands the public’s need for screaming headlines. Now we are
left with a lot of crazy bloggers who claim I am the Mossad’s
liaison to Wikileaks and that Wikileaks is a wholly owned subsidiary
of the Mossad.
I do not for a moment think that anybody sane
takes these ridiculous accusations seriously – they are just more
things to throw at Julian. I am not a member of Wikileaks, not even
a spokesman, just a friend. But even without me, Brown will still be
able to attack Assange for
Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize winner and “notorious antisemite whose
works are being published by a racist site.” Quoting a popular
“is beneath contempt, and, from now on, beneath notice”. Still, the
Guardian editors let him off his leash from time to time,
to their eternal disgrace.
The second mode of attack on Wikileaks
is to use it as a source of misinformation. These US State
Department cables are double-edged swords. They are full of rumors,
and hopeful thinking. Worse, the newspaper headlines often declare
that Wikileaks is the source of the rumor, and leave it to the
discerning reader to discover that an embassy staffer was the real
source of the story. Readers often do not understand that headlines
are little more than come-ons, and reflect a very loose
interpretation of the article content. They tend to believe the
misleading headline that says, “Wikileaks: Iran prepares nuclear
weapons” or, “Wikileaks: all Arabs want the US to destroy Iran”.
Wikileaks never said it! It was the Guardian and the
NY Times that said it, and loudly. A corrected headline
would look like this:
Wikileaks reveals that US diplomats spread unsubstantiated rumours
on the Iran nuclear program in order to ingratiate themselves with
the State Department
you will not live long enough to see this headline. Such is the
price for using mainstream media: they will eventually poison the
However, I would rather place my bet on Assange. He is smart, and he
has a mind of a first-class chess player. He has many surprises up
his sleeve. It is possible that the Guardian will have to
rename their book The Rise and Rise of Wikileaks.
The Israeli Angle
Now you can understand the mystery of Israeli
satisfaction with Wikileaks. While the US officials were furious at
the disclosure, Israelis were rather smug and complacent. Haaretz
“Netanyahu: WikiLeaks revelations were good for Israel.”
Simple-minded conspiracy junkies immediately concluded that
Wikileaks is an Israeli device, or, in the words of a particularly
single-minded man: a “Zionist poison”.
truth is less fantastic, but much more depressing. The Guardian
and the New York Times, Le Monde and Spiegel
are quite unable to publish a story unacceptable to Israel. They may
pen a moderately embarrassing piece of fluff, or a slightly critical
technical analysis in order to convince discerning readers of their
objectivity. They may even let an opponent air his or her views
every once in a blue moon. But they could never publish a story
really damaging to Israel. This is true for all mainstream media.
Furthermore, no American ambassador would ever send a cable really
unacceptable to Israel – unless he intended to retire the next
month. Yet even supposing this kamikaze ambassador would send the
cable, the newspapers would overlook it.
with thousands of secret cables about Israel in their hands, the
mainstream media delays and prevaricates. They don’t want anyone to
yell at them. That is why they have postponed publishing the
articles. Once forced by circumstance or competition to publish the
contents of the cables, you can bet they’ll twist the revelations
into toady headlines and bury the truth in the final paragraph.
Always kind, Julian Assange attributes this behavior to the
“sensitivity of the English, German and French audience”. I am not
that kind; I call it cowardice, or if you insist, prudence. Any
journalist who confronts the Jewish state will be made to suffer.
such a situation, the mainstream media just can’t help us.
Professional journalists have families and careers to protect. We
can’t count on them when the rubber meets the road. We shall never
know and will never fully understand the truth behind any
Israel-connected event as long as the cables remain only in the
hands of the mainstream media.
Edited by Paul Bennett
Israel Shamir can be reached