Supporting Wikileaks

Dylan Ratigan and Glenn Greenwald

Wikileaks has transformed activism, raising its scope and impact. Its detractors are myriad, but it defenders are worthier. Daniel Ellsberg is of course the best known among them, who has recently written an open letter to Amazon criticizing its decision to deny service to Wikileaks. But there are also Ray McGovern, Ron Paul and Noam Chomsky. Our friend Phil Weiss has also written an eloquent tribute to Wikileaks’s achievements. But by far the most impressive commentator on the issue is constitutional law attorney and Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald. For a delightful demolition of the naysayers and their anaemic arguments watch Greenwald debate Steven Aftergood of FAS on Democracy Now.  Also don’t miss Dylan Ratigan’s extended interview with Greenwald on the overblown reactions to Wikileaks:

6 thoughts on “Supporting Wikileaks”

    1. Thanks for the link. What I told Joe:

      You are not a toenail on the foot of someone like Julian Assange. What you are is a fart on the shitty process that is the U.S. gov’t at this point in history. You will be composted, dontcha know, as will we all. But Julian will be mourned. You won’t be.

      1. “You are not a toenail on the foot of someone like Julian Assange. What you are is a fart . . . ”

        What a great email!!! I’m so glad to hear that you contacted him! You really know how to paint a word picture! I hope he gets the point. Since you are neither Wall Street, nor a lobbyist, I won’t hold my breath. But, it does feel good to email these assholes and tell them what we think.


  1. The leaked cables are insightful not for what they tell us at face value but what we can extract out of them after a careful scrutiny. Otherwise, these fragments of documents, even in instances where they are authentic, can be very misleading. Jeremy Scahill engages in this critical exercise in a recent piece published in The Nation (December 1, 2010).

    “A special operations veteran and a former CIA operative with direct experience in Pakistan have told The Nation that JSOC has long engaged in combat in Pakistan—which raises a question: How in-the-loop is the US embassy about the activities of JSOC in Pakistan? Just because Ambassador Anne Patterson approves a cable saying that US special ops forces have only done two operations with Pakistani forces and plays this up as a major-league development doesn’t make it true. JSOC has conducted operations across the globe without the direct knowledge of the US ambassador. In 2006, the US military and Pakistan struck a deal that authorized JSOC to enter Pakistan to hunt Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders with the understanding that Pakistan would deny it had given permission. JSOC has struck multiple times inside Pakistan over the years, regardless of what Ambassador Patterson’s cables may say.” …

    “Since the Nation story originally ran, Blackwater has continued to work under the Obama administration. In June, the company won a $100 million global contract with the CIA and continues to operate in Afghanistan, where it protects senior US officials and trains Afghan forces. Earlier this year, Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince, put the company up for sale and moved to the Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Whether Blackwater or former Blackwater operatives continue to work in Pakistan is not known. What is clear is that there is great reason to believe that the October 2009 cable from Ambassador Anne Patterson describing US special operations forces activities in Pakistan represents only a tiny glimpse into one of the darkest corners of current US policy in Pakistan.” (Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, Dec 1, 2010)

    Not many people will go through all the leaked documents. They will mostly hear what the mainstream media and political groups choose to focus on.

    Source, intent, editorial choices, fragmented form of cables, politics of the editors in what they release and what they do not, their timing, targets, then media spins and selective appropriation by politicians… I haven’t seen many reports that engage in these critical considerations.

    1. Yeah, I think you’re right. It’s definitely a mistake to take all of these cables at face value, or as some sort of revelation of truth. These are diplomats talking, and as such, we should read it all not for the specific information every cable holds (although many do include important info) but rather as a glimpse into how diplomats and the diplomatic process operate more generally.

  2. “Its detractors are myriad, but it defenders are worthier”

    Really? On what basis do you make this comparison? For all the hoopla over Wikileaks, I have yet to see a single leak that seriously embarrasses the governments of Israel or the US. Quite the contrary, most of the “leaks” we have seen in the media seem to be little more than boilerplate neocon propaganda, tabloid-level trivia or stuff that is already widely known.

    Are we expected to interpret as mere coincidence the pro US/Israel bias evidenced by many of the handful of leaks that have been released to the media? If so, that’s one hell of a coincidence, particularly considering the “Earth-shattering bombshells” we’ve been promised, but which have yet to be delivered.

    Wikileaks highly inflated reputation seems to be based on nothing but wishful thinking on the part of its supporters, mass media cheerleading and the seemingly feigned and exaggerated outrage of the usual suspects.

    Where is the evidence that it has published a single “smoking gun” that would seriously undermined US or Israeli credibility?

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