Journalist Gordon Duff calls Wikileaks “mother's milk laced with arsenic.” I prefer a reference to the story of the Trojan Horse. Its “leaks” are a gift to the starving masses, yearning for transparency and sanity in the democratic world. But this gift, like the infamous wooden idol of Aeneid fame, has more to it than meets the eye. Enough time has passed to unfold the layers. Within the Wikileaks phenomenon resides a weapon of mass disruption, a disease of the mind.
Thanks to the efforts of a shadow group ostensibly led by the relatively unknown, Julian Assange, we can now clearly see how the corporate media, unwittingly or not, has been a means to an end in a much broader offensive, perpetrating a genuine psychological war against the American people.
Congressman Ron Paul called on his supporters not to be distracted by the real issues at hand. In his latest Texas Straight Talk, he condemned the GOP reaction to the release of diplomatic cables asking the reasonable questions: why attack the messenger and not address the message? Why continue to support a system of imperialism which necessitates such intrigue and spying amongst friends? And the message the neoconservative movement is disseminating, according to Paul: if we get caught spying, we need to spy more efficiently, more carefully and with less public oversight. The Left has found itself equally disoriented.
“There is always an enemy to slay, whether communist or terrorist. In the neoconservative vision, a constant state of alarm must be fostered among the people to keep them focused on something greater than themselves-- namely their great protector, the state,” Paul said in response to right wing calls to prosecute (or even assassinate) Assange and company for divulging state secrets.
By questioning the need for secrecy in a free and open society, Dr. Paul has pointed out the major symptoms of the Wikileaks disease, but he has failed to uncover the underlying cause. The appearance of “the facts” have been taken at face value while the reality of who gathered them and for what purpose goes unquestioned by the mainstream. And this is exactly why Wikileaks is so infectious, providing endless fodder for partisan bickering and yet, paradoxically, a seemingly unified front against free and critical appraisal of the government and its allies, namely Israel.
Duff points to the “third rail” in American journalism, the one that brought down Helen Thomas, as the facilitator of this chaos. The media, he asserts, “are hiding from the obvious truth that the corrupt government they are trying to unmask doesn’t have an American face underneath.”
We have been led to believe that globalization has made the arena of politics rather intricate and complicated, beyond the grasp of the everyday American. If Wikileaks has done anything, it's destroyed this myth. Even the most romantic of political thinkers will admit that the true seat of power of any one nation-state doesn't wholly reside in its capitals or political institutions, but is shared amongst its commercial partners (and by extension) military accomplices. Its not hard to follow the money.
But, if Wikileaks is an instrument of “controlled opposition” by elements of the US government in cooperation with foreign intelligence services used to fashion a better web of control around its citizens, why is the brunt of its content inflammatory towards US policy? Perhaps the ruling class (the international financiers of the game) have a new sacrificial lamb – the institutions which allow free exchange of ideas and goods, maybe freedom in general.
Already, lawmakers are scrambling to assemble legislation to censor internet content. Eric Blair of Activist Post warns that nothing short of a Patriot Act for the internet is in the making.
“After all, if information is now the enemy, we must carefully police any and every aspect of this dangerous medium -- all for the safety and protection of 'we the people,' writes Zen Gardner in a thought provoking piece. He continues, “Oh, we’ll still have the Internet, just like you can still fly. You’ll just have to be on the 'approved' list, screened, stamped, zapped, mugged and molested if you want to get 'on the net.' No biggie. Thanks Julian -- job well done.”
Senator Mitch McConnell's labeling of Assange as a “high-tech terrorist” on NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday is indicative of this dangerous, new climate of opinion.
The model for compliance with new federal internet standards has been laid out. Blair writes,
“It was recently revealed that Amazon, the server host for WikiLeaks, caved to political pressure to drop the website. Then, in dictatorial fashion, PayPal removed its service for donations to WikiLeaks, and now their bank account has been frozen. And all this comes a week after the shutdown of 80-plus websites for 'copyright infringement,' apparently in preparation for passing the 'Blacklist' bill."
Wikileaks has become a convenient target for statists, stirring their authoritarian sentiments, while acting as an Alamo for the disenfranchised activist. For both reasons, it is dangerous. It has been well-documented and reasonably theorized how Wikileaks will be used to abrogate first Amendment rights. What is less understood is why. That's the rub.
Perhaps the answer lies not in the tidbits of leaked information, but rather in what was left out.
“When are we going to read a Wikileak about organ theft rings or white phosphorous and American cluster bombs used against civilians in Gaza? Instead, we get 'chickenfeed' about a politician?” writes Duff. “Where are the Wikileaks on torture, rendition, Dr. Aafia or the phony intelligence on Iraq that led to the invasion in 2003? We are still waiting for a Wikileak on Israel’s friend, Chalabi, the wanted criminal America made Prime Minister of Iraq, a decision that led to a full scale civil war.”
All legitimate questions.
Maybe we should examine the fact that America's biggest “ally” (at least in terms of having the most powerful lobbying presence in DC), Israel, comes out of the debacle squeaky clean, despite its ongoing human rights violations against the Palestinians and evidence of its Mossad apparatus maliciously supplying American lawmakers with bogus intelligence in order to preemptively sick their military on Israel's critics in the region. Maybe we should scrutinize a media that inexplicably was able to cherry pick a few dozen documents out of 250,000 cables, within hours of their release, each towing the line of military interventionism in the Middle East.
And then there's the duplicitous face of Wikileaks, Julian Assange himself. Not only is he a man without a convincing history, if his story is to be believed, he's one of the luckiest people alive, having escaped prosecution in Australia for a major hacking crime in his early teens and remaining on the run from the law ever since, hopping from one expensive venue to the next (always sparing time for a high-profile interview). He's a man who's been able to hide from Interpol in plain site.
It's fitting to close with Duff's remarks about the man, the myth, the legend:
“My good friend, Paul Andrew Mitchell, had to remind me, Assange is an 'odd duck' as a 'whistleblower.' He supports war, any war, anytime, anywhere. Assange may be the last man alive to support, without question, the 9/11 Commission but is planning to revealing the truth about space aliens and UFO’s. In fact, as Mitchell points out, there isn’t a hair’s difference between the Mossad and CIA agenda and Wikileaks.”