WikiLeaks releases have shaken global politics and provoked countless news headlines. Founder Julian Assange has rarely been out of the media spotlight. And yet WikiLeaks' greatest revelations have scarcely been noticed by mainstream media journalists. Here at last, we expose the full story behind the stories that the corporate media are too scared to touch!
Ignore for the moment all the actual, fact-packed contents of WikiLeaks releases. Instead, let us examine how various powerful groups - including the media, politicians, the military, corporations, and regulatory bodies - have mis-reported, spun, denied or suppressed these facts.
Only then do we begin to perceive WikiLeaks greatest unpublished revelations: not the information itself, nor the distorted reactions to the leaked information, nor even the reactions to the messengers of this information - but what all these distortions, suppressions, and endless attacks on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange tell us about the true nature of the society we live in.
A few key examples will suffice to paint a picture that is all too-clear to many.
WikiLeaks' award-winning work around the globe was largely ignored by the media until the explosive release of the "Collateral Murder" video on April 5th, 2010. So how did media, politicians and the US military react to this atrocity, a clear War Crime by any logical and humane interpretation of that concept?
Although Bradley Manning would not be arrested for another month, rumours of the existence of the 2007 video had long been circulating. Reuters were denied an FOI request for a copy. US officials had plenty of time to organise a damage control exercise. The undeniable shock of the nauseating televised violence was immediately "balanced" by senior officials promising a full investigation. Media anchors willingly acquiesced to their demands that judgement be postponed until a convenient "context" could be established.
And yet these same officials and journalists had already decided on WikiLeaks's guilt: Assange was immediately condemned as an irresponsible, egotistical anarchist. Demands for his assassination began to appear. The search for the unknown leaker soon became the main story, and within weeks Bradley Manning was being tortured in a Quantico brig.
Around the globe, officials in US client states like Australia echoed the White House talking points. The media also towed the line. Reuters EIC David Schlesinger spiked a story suggesting that the attack on his own staff members constituted a War Crime. The Washington Post denied having sat on the video for a year.
At the time, US officials must have considered this quite a successful damage control operation. Most of the domestic TV-watching public saw only snatches of the video, with multiple "expert" caveats. But international observers, and those accessing online information sources, could easily see the truth behind the propaganda. Truth will out: the leading YouTube version of the attacks currently has over twelve and a half million views.
As another example of media and political reaction, consider the global blockade on WikiLeaks by financial giants including MasterCard, Visa and PayPal. WikiLeaks poses no obvious threat to their operations, and of course neo-Nazis and other extremist groups remain free to use their services. So this blockade reveals a shocking bias, and sets a very dangerous precedent.
The blockade exposes not just political influence on global finance, but also political influence on global media, plus financial influence on global politics. And it is astonishing how widespread and uniform such influence appears to be across the Western world.
Why haven't politicians, economists and the media taken more interest in this "non-story"? Are we all supposed to just shrug and ignore it? Apparently so. Yes, the blockade was reported (minimally), but the broader implications have been totally ignored. And that's the real story here.
For a similar WikiLeaks "non-story", consider Julian Assange's submissions to the UK Leveson enquiry. Assange rightly claims to have been unfairly maligned by the UK press. But how is it possible that nearly every major Western media outlet has either steadfastly ignored him or adopted a negative stance? In the retail sector, such evidence would be grounds for an investigation into collusion.
Indeed, while UK media organisations have dutifully reported daily events at the Leveson inquiry, they have largely ignored the evidence itself, prompting @GuidoFawkes blogger Paul Staines to publish some of the Operation Motorman leaks, which he describes as "Britain's biggest establishment cover-up".
"Currently in Britain the newspapers are neither naming nor shaming because the criminal enterprises are the newspapers themselves, who understandably do not wish to report their own crimes," says Staines.
In Assange's case, the most guilty newspaper is (ironically) former partner The Guardian, which now leads the UK Establishment's attack on WikiLeaks. Even more ironically, the Leveson inquiry would never have happened without Guardian EIC Alan Rusbridger's dogged pursuit of Rupert Murdoch. So how do you explain such a peculiarly selective brand of outrage? Oddly enough, nobody is even trying.
Addressing complaints of anti-WikiLeaks bias, even the Guardian's Reader's Editor would only promise not to use the word "charges" to describe Assange's Swedish allegations. Readers comments were again predictably scathing. But it seems such major UK media organisations would rather insult their readers' intelligence than speak up for Assange and WikiLeaks, even as they drift towards financial oblivion.
Another WikiLeaks "non-story" is the US government's treatment of Bradley Manning, the young soldier who ALLEGEDLY (there's still no conclusive proof, and probably never will be, given the farcical nature of his US military trial) passed a treasure trove of files to WikiLeaks. Manning was tortured by the US government in solitary confinement for six months, and now faces a show trial that is barely being covered by domestic US media.
The studiously ignored question is: "Why?" Under international law, it is a crime for a soldier NOT to reveal knowledge of war crimes. In a saner world, Bradley Manning would be celebrated as a US national hero who helped bring two unjust wars to a close, while those responsible for the crimes he exposed would be brought to justice. Yet Ron Paul is the only senior US politician currently championing Manning's cause (and the media ignore him too). Why?
This is the real revelation here. Why are the US media actively ignoring Manning's trial and his altruistic motivations, while giving short shrift to any sympathetic opinions? Is the US media not allowed to even canvass ideas that do not conform to Pentagon strategy? Is that the true state of US media today, 35 years since the CIA boasted about having a spy in every major newsrooom?
The sub-plot in this "non-story" is that the US government appears to have been pressuring Manning to blame Assange for his actions, and has set up a Grand Jury to find more excuses to extradite Assange and lock him away. Meanwhile the FBI flipped LulzSec hacker Sabu, who allegedly offered to sell the leaked Stratfor emails to WikiLeaks. Was that operation designed to entrap WikiLeaks? Are these threads all aspects of a grand US government conspiracy to destroy WikiLeaks and make an example of Assange?
AUSTRALIA AND SWEDEN
The casual brutality of Washington's reaction will have shocked nobody who has been paying any attention to the USA's accelerating slide towards Fascism. But many have been surprised by the slavish public reactions of the Australian and Swedish governments, who are now exposed as willing tools of US imperialism, ready to ignore the law, invite international ridicule, sacrifice innocent citizens, and even lose power to opposition parties rather than speak up for truth and justice.
Sweden's reputation as a forward-thinking nation of sexually liberated citizens has been trashed. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's friendship with US neocon Karl Rove appears to be the new cornerstone of Swedish foreign policy. Behind the cosmopolitan facade of Stockholm, we see a provincial town still in the grip of an 18th Century Lutheran witch-hunt mentality.
In Canberra, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has lost credibility and irreparably damaged the reputation of the Labor Party, whose back-room ties to the US Embassy were already exposed by WikiLeaks. It's hard to think of anyone who has come out of this long WikiLeaks saga looking worse than the Gillard government, whose Foreign Minister and Attorney General have plumbed Orwellian depths of reality-denial. Of course, Assange can expect little better from the opposition Coalition, whose complicity is confirmed by their silence. Meanwhile the Greens, a growing, credible and courageous third force, remain potential king-makers in any future elections.
Obviously Assange's Australian citizenship and the sexual allegations in Sweden make these nations central to any WikiLeaks discussion. But around the world today, millions of citizens are dismayed at how their supposedly democratic governments ignore popular will while pandering to global financiers and US-dominated corporations.
CONSPIRACIES, OPINIONS AND FACTS
But at some point we have to look beyond the latest scandal, recognise a clear pattern, and draw some conclusions. And what we see can only be described as a massive anti-WikiLeaks conspiracy.
Many supporters have described the process of following WikiLeaks as a journey "down the rabbit hole". Can you handle the truth? It is indeed hard for people to reassess attitudes and opinions that have been brain burned. But the facts exposed by WikiLeaks, and the reactions to those revelations, are matters of fact, and must be respected in any rational society. And those facts point to a complex, far-ranging conspiracy.
Let us be clear: this enormous conspiracy of media, politicians, the military, corporations and private business has not arisen purely in response to WikiLeaks. It has been growing steadily for at least 50 years. But WikiLeaks has clearly and cleverly exposed it. And that, in my humble opinion, is WikiLeaks' greatest revelation.
Censorship reveals fear, as Julian Assange says. And the conspiracy participants' attempts to smear Assange and silence WikiLeaks have exposed their fears.
So why are our global leaders afraid of the truth? What have they got to hide? And why are the media aiding and abetting this conspiracy? Stay tuned...
1. Of course, the media reflexively dismiss anything they can label a "conspiracy theory". Politicians refuse to even discuss "hypotheticals". But they will all discuss ad nauseam conspiracy theories such as President Obama's birth certificate, or hypothetical plans to invade Iran or Syria. Double standards are easily exposed.
2. It is obviously not fair to tar all journalists with the same brush: a few dedicated professionals have done outstanding work in support of WikiLeaks, Assange and Manning. It's no coincidence that most of these journalists work predominantly online. And it's no coincidence that those involved in the conspiracy are actively working to crush Internet freedoms.
3. Many support the conspiracy unwittingly, such as wannabe alt.media writers whose negative opinions of Assange are informed by mainstream media smears, or well-meaning but time-poor politicians who vote along party lines without checking the facts for themselves. These people can be reached.
4. The situation today is precarious. We are in an Information War, a race against time, with advancing technology benefiting either the peace-loving people of this world, or our war-mongering oppressors. Our governments today are busy closing legal loopholes and imposing restrictive controls on the Internet. If they succeed, there may never be another WikiLeaks. Get active.
5. It's Julian Assange's birthday today. Happy birthday, mate.