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WIKILEAKS: Whistleblower Extraordinaire, or Limited Hangout?

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Updated Dec 13, 2010

You can judge a tree by its fruit. In the case of Wikileaks, it’s low-hanging fruit.

As the euphoria on Barack Obama subsides, people are looking for a new saviour to pin those hopes on.

Certainly, 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. Why?

In one way, Wikileaks provides the mainstream media an excuse to abstain from doing any actually journalism, opting instead for giving sideline play-by-play, which they love.

However, 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.

Is Wikileaks for real, or is it a limited hangout?

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 digitized “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 pixelated avatars of Osama Bin Laden, Ayman alZawahiri and Abu Musab alZarqawi 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 and crusader for free speech, Mr Julian Assange, founder of the free liberal world’s latest beacon of light, Wikileaks.

Who is Julian Assange? Establishment operative? Difficult to tell. The jury is still out.

Is Wikileaks being used by the Globalist Establishment to direct PR, or by intel agencies as a ‘limited hangout‘?

In the complex 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 may be 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 genuine 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. This portion of that Wikileaks document dump should be analyzed 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 potential revisionist propaganda being mixed in with document dumps, 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 leak could be corrupted before it arrives to the Wiki server. Here we have 250,000 ‘secret’ files dumped. No change at all in US or Israeli foreign policy. Public expectations are high. Only a benign feeding frenzy for the mainstream media.  A hollow Wiki? Interesting question.

Still, all roads lead back to 911.

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 assassination 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 appears to position Assange as a potentially powerful gatekeeper on this issue. Will he decide what is real and that is then important regarding 9/11 – which leaks we need, and which leaks we should ignore? As a Liberal icon, the coffee table crowd will naturally be hanging on his every word. This could become a quandary. Gatekeepers could 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. A liberal casius beli?

Whether the new liberal cult hero Julian Assange is being used to propagate fake leaks on behalf of 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 Wikileaks controversy forward.

After a decade of the War on Terror, the corruption of Iraq and Afghanistan, people are frustrated, and looking for answers, and also change.

There are other risks here. 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.

There’s much to speculate on here, but at the end of the day, Wikileaks are simply publishing information they have vetted as genuine – and then allowing the public to decide what to make of it.

Our advice to readers: be vigilant when analyzing your Wikileaks. Watch for the low-hanging fruit… look but don’t always bite.

RELATED STORY: Who is Behind the Demonization of the Web?

READ MORE WIKILEAKS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Wikileaks Files



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