By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Updated Dec 13, 2010
You can judge a tree by its fruit. In the case of Wikileaks, its low-hanging fruit.
There is only one thing more dangerous than a fundamentalist Neo-conservative, and that’s a naive liberal. In the wake of the demolition of the modern, somewhat mythological illusory icon Barrack Obama, people who identify themselves as liberal watchdogs have been left wanting for a new hero.
Enter the Messiah 2.0, the silver haired saviour, one Julian Assange. The ascent and timing of the Wikileaks phenomenon could not be more scripted and perfect. This magnificent digital cloud has literally captured the minds of eternally frustrated people the world over- frustrated by war, corruption and the endless cloak and dagger exploits of their leaders. The uploading of 250,000 “top-secret cables” threatened to bring down the corrupt Washington Establishment. In reality it has done nothing of the sort, rather, bizarrely bolstering the status quo.
Some might say it’s a new channel for passive political entertainment- tune in, switch off and watch the globetrotting Assange duck and dive Interpol and Washington. Another excuse for the mainstream media to obstain from doing any journalism, opting instead for giving sideline play-by-play, which they love. There is no doubt that on the whole, Wikileaks and Julian Assange have done a tremendous public service by providing the public with war-time transparency on the big stage. The effort by the organisation is nothing short of groundbreaking. But this does not mean that newshounds and pundits will be shy and not apply an intense analytical microscope on the quality of the leaks it presents, the mainstream media’s filtering of its leaks, as well as the byproducts in terms of real policy change that results- or does not result from its work. Seeing through the media circus is essential in unlocking the riddle of Wikileaks.
What exactly is Wikileaks? The pieces are slowly coming together.
The whole concept of “intelligence” has changed considerably since the dawn of the internet age. Instead of papers and physical dossiers, we now have emails, digital video and “cables”. How can analysts verify intelligence these days? The soil was readied for the arrival of Wikileaks by a decade of anonymous postings on highly questionable Islamic websites featuring pixellated avatars of Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al–Zawahiri and Abu Musab al–Zarqawi and similar theatrical villains in the West’s staged production of the Global War on Terror. What the anonymous Islamic dot.com boom achieved was to validate all manner of mysterious postings and virtual events online as something purporting to be modern historical record. Washington, London and Tel Aviv validated these internet episodes with official State Dept reactions and high level addresses. Hence, foreign policies, domestic security state measures and war-time decisions could now be based on this new virtual theatre of events. Enter stage left, the anamorphic character, crusader for free speech, Mr Julian Assange, alleged founder of the free liberal world’s latest beacon of light, Wikileaks.
Is Wikileaks being used by the Globalist Establishment? In the complexed world of intelligence leaks, counter leaks, false leaks and misinformation it is often difficult for the casual observer to separate the wheat from the chaff. Leaks are used by the Establishment to out rogue agents, settle political scores or create timely diversions needed by intelligence services to maintain an air of chaos on the front pages of the major daily rags.
Separating the wheat from the chaff
Is there real information within these intelligence dumps? Indeed, there is. The size and scope of the uploads will certainly contain volumes of real information, but which bits and when selected bits are chosen to run in a synchronised fashion across the mainstream media news cycle tells a lot about how Wikileaks is being used by the Establishment. But the real clues to the political functions of these leaks are often hidden in plain sight. Case in point: this past summer’s Wikileaks cache which featured former Pakistani ISI Chief, Hamid Gul, portraying him as an active puppet master working in cahoots with Al Qaeda and the Taliban to attack US and NATO forces in the region, was one of the clearest giveaways as to the real function and dark pedigree of the so-called intelligence pouring out of the trustworthy Icelandic online oracle. In the years running up to this supposed US ‘leak’, General Hamid Gul was one of the most consistent and relentless critics of the US foreign policy and the military occupations in the region, as well as exposing its often duplicitous relationship with client state Pakistan. Gul even went so far as to accuse elements within the US intelligence structure as being either responsible or involved in the planning and execution of the infamous September 11th attacks of 2001. This of course, was a bombshell at the time and placed Hamid Gul in the crosshairs of Washington’s military and intelligence establishments. It was, after all, Gul- the old inside man in the pay of the CIA, who worked for Washington in the 1980’s to train and arm the US-backed Mujahedeen in Soviet occupied Afghanistan. The July 2010 Wikileaks file on General Gul repositioned him from whistleblower into a new member of the revised ‘Al Qaeda camp’, an enemy of the state, thus priming the engines of the CIA Gulfstream Jet that could now pick up the retired Pakistani General as an enemy combatant in the War on Terror, black sack and all. From annoying insider… to demonised outsider. Job done.
Watch Hamid Gul’s reaction to the Wikileak release
More importantly, however, what this supposed Wiki-revelation did was to fuel the new idea that there is now “mistrust” between these two close allies in the war on terror, and “without each other’s support they cannot win the war on terror”. This now puts Pakistan on its back foot. Bear in mind that during this time, US drone attacks and Blackwater encroachments into Pakistani territory had reached a new high. This is only one example, but certainly a telling one, virtually identical in execution to Osama bin Laden’s fabled timely election messages and Christmas addresses to the world, further demonstrating the uncanny timing and disinformation coming out of many of these Wikileaks doc dumps. Welcome to the world of intelligence leaks.
Many, if not all of those warm timely Bin Laden festive messages have been debunked, and exposed as contrived fakes put out by the CIA’s shadowy media arm Intel Center, but again viewers need to consider the significance of these messages with regards the formation of public opinion and feeling on issues surrounding both domestic and foreign policy. These controlled items are invaluable and serve a real PR purpose. Wikileaks can be analysed in a similar fashion by noting the timing of the content, the material released, the subsequent predictable media reaction to them, and also noting what is omitted from these supposed ‘tell all’ mega files.
The Business of Leaking
In the case of Washington, when real world events become difficult to manage in PR terms, a diversion is essential. The old formula of staging fake terror plots, or even real terror bombs has reached its end with the public, so what is better than combing through the Pentagon’s back catalogue of PDF files and adding a few new files for good measure, then uploading them to an off-shore server? It’s cheap, fast and best all, it’s easy to control. A junior officer could do the job. Amazingly, nowhere in any of these sinister cables appears any implications of criminal wrong doing by Herrs Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Obama or Blair. Nothing about the US funding of terror cells in Iran, 911 cover-ups, WMDs or dodgy Whitehall Dossiers. Notice the absence of any hints, implications- or international criticism of the US’s number one ally and moral/material partner in the illegal Middle East occupations- Israel. It’s pure Punch ‘n Judy, business as usual. One secret cable even-numbered Iraqi civilian deaths since the invasion at a mere 66,000- in effect revising history by rewriting previous UN and independent estimates of 1.5 million deaths.
In yet another example of revisionist propaganda in the “secret cables”, WikiLeaks intel tried to claim that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, justifying the invasion. Alas, no such weapons were ever found.
Obviously, the Wikileak is corrupted before it arrives to the Wiki server. Can anyone who has followed the news over the last 7 years take this new dump seriously? So we get 250,000 ‘secret’ files dumped and the prevailing Establishment remains firmly in tact with no real change in the status quo. No change at all in US or Israeli foreign policy. Only a benign feeding frenzy for the mainstream media. A hollow Wiki? Interesting question.
Surface leaks sometimes cover up the real leaks. Just like in Watergate all roads lead back to JFK- what E. Howard Hunt referred to as “the whole Bay of Pigs thing”, aka “The Big Event”- was actually referring to the assasination of President JFK. Still today, all roads lead to 911. The fact remains that before WMD’s came to the poker table in the run-up to Iraq, it was 911 which was the original pre-text for the invasion of Afghanistan. Regarding the attacks of 911, Assange has stated on record:
“I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud…”
On the subject of 911, this statement positions Julian Assange as an institutional gatekeeper. He will decide what is important for you and which leaks we need, which leaks we should ignore. As a Liberal icon, the coffee table crowd will naturally be hanging on his every word. It is for this reason that building up a cult of personality has no place in a truly independent media oracle such as Wikileaks. Gatekeepers become editors, further narrowing the channels of information flow.
Webster Tarpley breaks down the problem with Julian Assange and Wikileaks
Time will tell what policy and law changes will be rushed into place as a Neo-conservative reaction against Wikileaks’ staged embarrassment of the US State Dept. Perhaps Washington and London will enact new security measures and authorities to take down hundreds of ‘rogue’ websites that threaten the interests of National Security. That would of course be an own-goal for liberal watchdogs and fans pining for the illusive Assange and Wikileaks, but this is precisely the kind of reaction we can expect in the media circus surrounding the flimsy internet Wikileak phenomenon.
Whether the new liberal cult hero Julian Assange is in fact a “useful idiot” helping to propagate fake leaks for the Establishment, or is a bona fide covert intelligence operative, remains to be seen. His recent detention in the UK for alleged sexual abuses in Sweden is providing endless media columns which will focus on the international legal circus of these charges, and further propel the cult of personality forward. One thing is fairly certain though, that Wikileaks is a corrupted oracle putting out a mix of light-to-middleweight intelligence and in some cases outright misinformation in order to direct public opinion on a variety of issues. One needs only to look at the initial George Soros-type funding vessels and early support for Wikileaks, and tie this association together in order to trace its genealogy. This is complexed and not for amateurs, but utterly fascinating for those willing to look deeper into this virtual off-shore Conintelpro organ of the 21st century.
Wikileaks could be a “honey pot” for leakers. And by the way, who are these leakers? We live in an information age, so these are both relevant questions we need to ask before taking these so-called “classified” document releases as objective utilitarian gospel.
If it all goes south for Wikileaks and free speech online, you can expect that Time Magazine’s new 2010 Man of the Year Assange will be hard on the lecture circuit promoting his inevitable book launch, which you can buy in hardback on Amazon for $24.99 plus shipping (whisked in through the back door no less).
Our advice to readers: be vigilant when analysing your Wikileaks. Watch for the low-hanging fruit… look but don’t bite!