Wikileaks: The Real Stuff
by Israel Shamir on 25 Aug 2010 3 Comments

After the tremendous coup of Wikileaks, this semi-clandestine site and organisation, which had recently brought to public knowledge so many government crimes through so many hundreds of thousands of documents (with even more on the way), has predictably come under attack. Not only from Pentagon hacks, but also from various bodies we would expect to back them rather than knife them in the back.


Reporters Without Borders accused Wikileaks of being irresponsible, for having published the names of US agents in Afghanistan. This accusation reveals the true nature of these Reporters. They do not care about freedom of the press; they care about protecting American interests and American spies. Whoever is old enough to remember the revelations of Philip Agee will recognise the pattern: All of a sudden these guys, who normally do not mind murdering others, recognise their own mortality and vulnerability. This is very good. Spies and agents should be outed: it will cause them to behave responsibly.


So much for the pro-establishment line. What a pity that some of our friends in the blogosphere joined in the chorus of detractors. Theirs are familiar and respected names of the free web: F. William Engdahl, Gordon Duff, Zahir Ebrahim. They are not to be accused of collaboration with Pentagon and the CIA.


Psychologically, one understands them. Could it be that all of a sudden we got such a windfall? Is it not a bit like those emails from Nigeria offering us millions for the simple information about our bank account? A diffident man is likely to get cold feet when a beautiful girl smiles back and proposes having a drink in a pub. The Wikileaks-deniers created an elaborate conspiracy theory: these hundreds of thousands of real documents were fabricated by the CIA and offered to an innocent public.


This conspiracy argument cuts both ways: Way one, we are asked to believe that the CIA went to unbelievable expense and bother of dumping so many secret papers, including lists of their own agents, including the revelation that US nuclear-bearing bombers were up on their way to Russia on 9/11, and what not – for quite negligible gains.


The second way is much more plausible and economical: what could be easier and cheaper way to minimise damage than to claim that the stuff is fake? In his spirited defence of Wikileaks John Pilger says: “A Pentagon document states bluntly that US intelligence intends to ‘fatally marginalise’ Wikileaks. The preferred tactic is smear, with corporate journalists ever ready to play their part.” Alas, not only corporate journalists, but even freelancers are doing it. There is no better way to marginalize and smear than to insist that the files in question are “chickenfeed” provided by CIA or Mossad.


I know, respect and like some deniers of Wikileaks’ feats. I do not think that they are inspired by the CIA in an attempt to minimise damage, but I do think that they are committing a great error of judgment.


Let us check the deniers’ arguments. William Engdahl writes: “far from an honest leak, it is a calculated disinformation to the gain of the US and perhaps Israeli and Indian intelligence and a coverup of the US and Western role in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan.” What is his reasoning? It is 9/11. Engdahl is a true believer in 9/11 conspiracy, and the simple fact that the editor of Wikileaks Julian Assange does not subscribe to it fully and squarely is enough to dismiss him as a stooge.


His other arguments are derivatives of this position. In the documents published by Wikileaks, there are ten references to the former head of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, General (Ret) Hamid Gul; and this General Gul, according to the documents, has dealings with the Afghan Taliban. This is just a way to demonise Pakistan, says Engdahl, because Gul was critical of the official 9/11 version and claimed the attack was done by the Israeli Mossad.


In other documents it is said that Osama bin Laden is alive and kicking. This also annoys Engdahl: no lesser person than Benazir Bhutto proclaimed Osama dead.


There is a small ad hominem: Engdahl does not know Assange from Adam, and that is why he is “mysterious” (and other sinister adjectives). Assange did not express his belief in Engdahl’s favourite theory of 9/11, and that makes him non-kosher.


Engdahl (and other detractors) do not understand the way these documents emerged in the first place. The sheer volume of the leak is enormous. We of the independent web media have no resources to analyse them. This work was carried out by the New York Times and two European newspapers of record. These three papers tried to get some jewels out of this sea of raw data. Naturally, if somewhat regrettably, they fished out what was palatable for them and their readers and managers.


The New York Times found the leaks which fit its official mainstream attitude. The Guardian found quite different documents, altogether more interesting. If Global Research were to go after raw data, perhaps they would be able to find something even more exciting.


So Engdahl could say correctly: in the documents chosen and presented by the NY Times there are such and such tendencies. That would be a fair presentation.


Other arguments of Engdahl could be valid if Assange were an author of the leaked documents. However, the authors were US officials. They wrote these papers in their official capacity for other officials. It would not be even plausible that they would wink and write “we know who really did 9/11, ha-ha-ha.” They would lose their jobs the next day, if not the next hour!


It makes sense that some US officials want to continue to draw money from Obama’s search. It is a small industry by now, which feeds a lot of contractors. For this reason, it is in their interest to claim they know he is around, disregarding the point whether he is alive or dead.


General Gul is not my cup of tea. He is a manipulative beast that made Afghanistan bleed. He is the guy who trapped the Soviets in the Brzezinski-designed quagmire at a huge cost for Afghans, Russians and Pakistanis. Thousands of Afghanis and Russians died because of him. All the troubles of Pakistan are direct consequences of ISI aiding and abetting the US and Saudi Arabia in their fight against the Russians and against the Afghani progressive forces, socialists and communists. Gul was godfather to the real Osama bin Laden and his mujahideen. He had a very good, even the best and most personal reason to point to any alternative culprit – to Mossad or to little green men, anybody at all, but not to his disciple Osama.


It is plausible that he plays ball with some men in Afghanistan: ISI armed and trained them even in 1980. It is hardly possible to demonise him: he is as bad as any head of any secret service from Gestapo to the CIA, and they are all evil guys, in my book.


However, this is all beside the point. Some US officials could have a jaundiced view of the old general meeting armed Afghanis, and any NY Times researchers were bound to find their documentation of this by simple search. In short, the bias – if any – is that of the NY Times, not of Wikileaks.


As for Engdahl’s ad hominem: Julian Assange is neither a writer nor an activist; he could not have been known previously. He is against the US war in Afghanistan and Pakistan; he’s got a huge catch, he wanted to deliver it to the people, and there was no alternative to mainstream media. We may be able to read a hundred documents, but we can’t even glimpse thousands, let alone hundreds of thousands. So his choice was judicious.


A second denier, young Pakistani intellectual cum American Ivy League graduate Zahir Ebrahim, writes: “The core-lies retained in the Wikileaks’ disclosure is to once again reaffirm that there is a real nemesis called “Osama Bin Laden”, that the “war on terror” is real, that it is being inflicted upon the West from the Pakistan-Iran nexus, in order to re-substantiate the handoff of former President George W. Bush’s clairvoyance to the Obama Administration that “If another September 11 style attack is being planned, it probably is being plotted in Pakistan, and not Afghanistan”!


Zahir makes the same mistake. The files are the reports of what US officials believe or claim to believe. I’d ask Zahir: if you were to get hold of all reports sent from and to Afghanistan, would you censor them to remove ideas and names that are not to your liking? Remember, these are not files from God Almighty, this is the kind of stuff that spooks and soldiers write, and it naturally reflects their view of the world. So it is not “core-lies”, but “core-truth”: US officials express under the stamp of “top secret” the very same views they openly espouse.


Gordon Duff is the least temperate of all. He writes: “The [Mossad’s] game today is using Wikileaks, given its 15 minutes of fame for trashing the US in Iraq with the helicopter video, to spread imaginary stories about Pakistan, the enemy of India and the only nuclear power in the Middle East capable of standing up to Israel… Israel would have been cited for laundering drug money for the Taliban. It is in the documents. I didn’t release them. That is illegal. Nothing involving drug flights being serviced by Israeli companies was released. It was in the files. If we really want to leak things, they are out there. It can get bloody. Wikileaks is simply another ploy by the ultra powerful Israel lobby, a cheap game meant to humiliate the United States, destroy Pakistan and build a reputation for a puppet.”


It is sectarian logic, like that of Engdahl, though of a different sect. Sectarians insist on the centrality of their thesis and they hate everybody who does not sign for it on the dotted line. We have so many sects, some quite big: the 9/11 sect of the “truthers”, the Mossad-under-every-bed sect, the Holocaust revisionist sect… They have some good arguments, but they are too intolerant. As for me, I am ready to listen to their arguments, even to support their right to express their views, but I am not ready to subscribe to them. Nor would it even be possible: these sects are divided into many subsects all in disagreement with each other.


The sectarian mindset is too venomous, too restricted. Why can’t we have a chance to express our views freely without being forced to conform to a dogma? We witnessed a sectarian attack on Chomsky: why doesn’t this important intellectual subscribe to the sectarians’ beliefs? Now it is an attack against Assange: why does he not produce documents demonstrating Mossad involvement and 9/11 conspiracy? The answer is simple: probably because he has not got such documents.


If Duff, a neophyte anti-Zionist, has access to such documents as he claims, let him publish them or shut up. These insinuations “we could, we know, it will be bloody” are just empty words. His claim that “Pakistan is the only nuclear power in the Middle East capable of standing up to Israel” shows that he is rather detached from reality. Pakistan is not in the Middle East by any definition, and has invested zero effort in the Palestine conflict. Pakistan has never tried to stand up to Israel, has never assisted the Palestinian cause, and its nuclear capabilities are quite limited. Moreover, Pakistan is a loyal client of the US with a lot of problems, some of which are of its own making.


In order to understand Wikileaks and its success one should comprehend the way it works. This is not a body of dedicated political activists. Though generally sympathetic to our enlightened views, Wikileaks is an organisation of hackers, and some of them hack just for the heck of it. We are beneficiaries of their work, but they do not work for us. Let us be thankful for what they do, and avoid assisting Pentagon in marginalising them.


[Courtesy shamireaders]

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