Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Julian Assange: The Truth Will Always Win

The Truth Will Always Win
by Julian Assange article link article link
December 7, 2010 | The Australian | CommonDreams

In 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?

Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.

People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.

If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.

WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain ‘s The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.

Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be "taken out" by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be "hunted down like Osama bin Laden", a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a "transnational threat" and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister's office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.

And Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to these sentiments by Prime Minister Gillard and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not had a word of criticism for the other media organisations. That is because The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel are old and large, while WikiLeaks is as yet young and small.

We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn't want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.

Has there been any response from the Australian government to the numerous public threats of violence against me and other WikiLeaks personnel? One might have thought an Australian prime minister would be defending her citizens against such things, but there have only been wholly unsubstantiated claims of illegality. The Prime Minister and especially the Attorney-General are meant to carry out their duties with dignity and above the fray. Rest assured, these two mean to save their own skins. They will not.

Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: "You'll risk lives! National security! You'll endanger troops!" Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can't be both. Which is it?

It is neither. WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US , with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

But our publications have been far from unimportant. The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:

The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran ‘s nuclear program stopped by any means available.

Britain's Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect "US interests".

Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay . Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

Copyright 2010 News Limited

Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.

The Australian home page
CommonDreams home page

Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War
Power, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening
by Andrew Gavin Marshall article link
December 6, 2010 | Global Research
Global Research home page

Support WikiLeaks and Defend Julian Assange
By Dave Lindorff article link
December 7, 2010 | OpEdNews


... It needs to be clearly understood by all Americans, and especially by anyone in the media who takes the profession seriously, that the attacks on WikiLeaks by the US government--attacks which have included heavy pressure on companies like Paypal, Amazon Books, Visa and Mastercard, all of which have closed their accounts with the organization, making it difficult if not impossible for Assange and his team to raise money, and on internet servers, making it harder for WikiLeaks to stay online--could as easily be used against news organizations and political organizations. If the government gets away with pressuring a server to close out an organization it doesn't like, it could as easily pressure a print shop not to publish a magazine, a news distributor not to distribute newspapers, or a power company not to provide juice to a broadcaster. If the government can pressure banks to close WikiLeaks' accounts, it could pressure banks to close a book publisher's account. And if the government can, as Attorney General says he is doing, tries to create a law with which to arrest and punish Assange, it can as easily trump up a "crime" and arrest a print publisher or radio network owner. These actions are not the actions of a democracy. They are the lawless actions of a dictatorship.

The darkness is rapidly closing in during this administration that once claimed to be about "hope and change."

Wikileaks: The Needed Modern Miracle On Main Street
By Douglas A. Wallace article link
December 6, 2010 | OpEdNews

Not since The Pentagon Papers were published in 1971 have the peoples of the world especially the United States been given a vision of the transparency of their governments as has been recently happening through the efforts of Julian Assange and his associates at wikileaks.ch.

Like the Pentagon Papers, the publishing of so called secret or "classified" communications of the US government and its military demonstrate the total idiocy of government in its attempts to cover up its childish, unfit, immature inability to deal with international problems that stretch its false image of itself.Total incompetence!

The usual method of dealing with these inadequacies is to kill, discredit or destroy the messenger. It appears that Wikileaks has out-thought the powers that be and has set up a system of mirrors so that any number of websites can host Wikileaks and keep it from being shutdown.

As of last evening 208 websites were co-hosting Wikileaks with more being added by the minute. I urge thousands of website owners to get on the bandwagon.

TAKE NOTICE PRESIDENT OBAMA and the entire executive branch including the military that we the American People are fed up with the lies and cover up of your incompetent actions. It is time to stand down and pay attention to the will of the masses for whom you work!

No longer can you flip off the American people with lies and deception! It is time for full transparency and we demand it of you.

Any simple minded fool with the love of the American People could straighten up the mess you are mired in simply by positive acts of full disclosure. Government must correct itself. WE DEMAND IT OF YOU!

Mr. Assange, bring on the miracle! We the people ask it of you! And thank you for all you do!

Indecent Exposure: WikiLeaks Hounded for Showing Power Its True Face
By Chris Floyd article link
December 6, 2010 | OpEdNews


... One final observation: it is remarkable that the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables has provoked a far more virulent and draconian reaction from government officials -- and from their craven sycophants in the mainstream media -- than we ever saw after the earlier releases about Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet many of those Terror War releases provided detailed, eyewitness accounts of horrific acts of murder, brutality, and depraved indifference toward the slaughter of innocent people. It seems the American elite are more outraged at being caught in various diplomatic faux pas than being shown to be perpetrators and facilitators of murder, repression and state terror. That's because they know that their cowed and passive subjects -- continually stoked with the hatred and fear of foreign demons -- don't care how many darkies get killed on the other side of the world. And so the Terror War leaks occasioned no more than a few days of Beltway bluster.

But the new releases put a bit of a crimp in business as usual for our backroom operators, exposing some of the rank hypocrisy and all-pervasive corruption of our great and good -- and of their clients and partners around the world. All this might -- just might -- give the rabble unseemly notions ... such as the idea that their interests are perhaps not being served all that well by a system run by and for a handful of liars, tyrants, killers and thieves. We can't have that.

And so Julian Assange is now being hounded -- perhaps to his eventual death -- not for revealing war crimes and atrocities, but for showing us a glimpse of our leaders as they really are: stupid, vain, petty and savage.

OpEdNews home page


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