Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Assessing Assange

"Is Wikileaks to be trusted, or is it a honeypot that filters what the gov't wants to get out w/o being able to say it themselves?" asks an anonymous commenter on a post yesterday — Truth About the "Good War" WikiLeaked. "Have you noticed that over the past few months Wikileaks has been getting increasing coverage by the mainstream press?" he asks, noting that "[i]n Marketing 101 that's called a 'roll out.'"

In my post, I worried "that rather than this leading to the wise decision to leave and completely disengage politically and militarily from the region, the news 'that neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban' will be spun and the war will instead widen." In the comments, I asked, "Could it be that [the leaks] are intented to provide grounds for war against Iran and Pakistan, and that the reports on civilian deaths were only included for cover, and because nobody cares anyway?"

LewRockwell.com's Karen Kwiatkowski, no stranger herself to whistleblowing, in her post praising "Julian Assange’s technological know-how and his ethical ascendance [as] a great gift" — Wikileaks — dismissively links to a piece by Adam Weinstein at "Mother Jones (!)" [her exclamation point] that dares to "look the gift horse in the mouth" — WikiLeaks' Afghan Documents and Me.

Mr. Weinstein notes that "most of what you see on WikiLeaks... are theoretically accessible by anyone in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Tampa, Florida-based US Central Command—soldiers and contractors—who have access to the military's most basic intranet for sensitive data." He suggests that "like most of the stunts pulled by Assange, this one's long on heat and short on light, nothing you didn't already know if you were paying attention to our wars."

(For those interested, it's all online now — WikiLeaks Files, Now Organized in html.)

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! My comment made post status!

Thanks!

7:29 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

It was an enlightening comment, an idea I have not seen explored elsewhere, either on the left or the right. The Mother Jones article only hints at it.

This is different, but I remember reading once how government leaks certain stories to conspiracy theory groups, so they're discredited automatically from the beginning.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Zach said...

This is different, but I remember reading once how government leaks certain stories to conspiracy theory groups, so they're discredited automatically from the beginning.

Really? This is the first I've heard of that, outside my own head where I sometimes play the game "if I were an Evil Overlord..." :)


peace,
Zach

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne Madsen, ex-NSA, who runs a bulletin that at least some times appears to have accurately and presciently portrayed the story behind the story from the wilderness of mirrors ran an article reporting that wikileaks is not quite as independent as one might think.

I have not yet made a decision about Madsen's crediblity.

7:02 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Zach, you've got an active mind. Be careful not to cross over to the Dark Side! ;)

Anon, I think skepticism is the right attitude. I was mesmerized by Alex Jones for a couple of hours, until I realized the guy is doing a pretty good job of discrediting serious conspiracy analysis with his raving into megaphones on public corners.

8:45 AM  

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