Wikileaks: Prelude to a new wave of ‘legal’ repression? By William Bowles

14 December, 2010

This Wikileaks thing is frustrating the life out of me! The release has, in theory at least, exposed the Machiavellian activities of the foreign arm of the US state in all its sordid and mundane expressions, not-to-mention the complete rubbish these ‘experts’ regurgitate, to the entire world. It really is a case of ‘doing your dirty laundry in public’. But right now the last thing we are learning about is the contents. Instead it’s been turned into a media circus all focused on the ‘rapist’, ‘traitor’ and ‘terrorist’ Assange.

Of course the corporate/state media has gone apeshit over Assange, there’s even a new word in the English language, to be ‘Wikied’, all assisted by his dramatic arrest and detention and all the rumours about how the Obama administration wants to get its blood-splattered hands on him.[1] (As I write, Assange has been released on bail of $310,000 or around £200,000, though apparently, he’s still in the slammer for another 48 hours while he raises the dosh).

The clearly trumped-up sexual assault charges, also regurgitated after several months, served to detract from the self-evident importance of the contents of the diplomatic cables and bring the focus of attention onto Assange instead (I bet as he sat in his cell in the awful Wandsworth Prison, he must have been kicking himself for that one-night stand).

The media has played its allotted role firstly by ‘celebritizing’ him, then castigating him and finally demonizing him. It works in a feedback loop with the state’s propaganda, one feeding off the other, back and forwards, until Assange and Wikileaks has nothing to do with blowing open the inner workings of Empire and it’s all to do with the ‘threat to lives’ linked of course to Assange not being able to keep his dick in his pants.

All the other stuff, death threats and other ravings of lunatic right-wing nuts is bullshit, serving only to reinforce the focus on Assange.

The cables and their contents are now clearly a sideshow.

And on the other hand, it does all fit together like one of those Chinese puzzles. Why did Wikileaks go to the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Speigel? Did Assange think the information would not reach public without such massive exposure or that the information wasn’t genuine and it needed the ‘official media’ stamp of approval? This is a troubling question to me. Assange says he chose the three because they were:

“the best newspapers in the world for investigative research.”[2]

But why not take them to the National Security Archive as well, surely the best place to make real sense of a quarter million cables and they would give us the BIG picture. This is what they do! So if what Assange says is true, then it speaks reams about his lack of political acumen.

We know that all three of these newspapers represent corporate interests first and foremost, so with these three representatives of international capital controlling the flow, we know that we only get what they want us to read. In any case, it comes down what they choose to run with, whether it be ‘Batman and Robin’ or the Saudis urging the US to attack Iran (and untrue, the cables said no such thing).

So is it a CIA/State department plot/setup/patsy/black-ops/hidden agenda kinda thing?

Well maybe it is as both Engdahl and now Chossudovsky assert, but it seems an awfully convulated way to attempt take control of the Internet, if this was its intention, which I doubt.

And I say attempt because to my knowledge, short of pulling the plug on every server connected to the Internet, there is no way of controlling the Internet, not for long anyway: as long as it takes to figure out a way around it, which in computer time is not long at all. Why do you think the NSA, CIA et al, hire whizzkid ‘hackers’ in a vain attempt to stay one jump ahead of all those kids out there who eat and sleep programming 24/7?

Back in the early days of computing, the late 70s-early 80s, I knew a few of the early ‘hackers’ and quite a few professional programmers and believe me they liked nothing better than a challenge and they’ve only gotten better in the intervening decades.

Even a country like China, where the WWW connection to the outside world is controlled by the state, it’s still porous. Anybody determined to get access to sites deemed dangerous to the Chinese state and blocked can, just as with the Wikileaks mirrors, access the content via a mirror. Technically speaking as each ip address appears it could be blocked but it would just pop up somewhere else. That’s the entire point of the exercise. Duh-

A far better way of taking control would be to engineer some really big attack on some critical (but not too critical) infrastructure, a kind of digital 9/11, but quite how that would work I don’t know, but it would require that the existing infrastructure be shut down and a new, alternative state-controlled network taking control of the existing infrastructure. What happens to the global circuit capital in the meantime is anybody’s guess. Hey, it might not be such a bad idea after all!

What is dangerous about the turn of events, and here I concur with both Chossudovsky and Engdahl, is that it if there is an ulterior motive it might be a new wave of repressive laws, in all likelihood under the infinitely expanding umbrella of the ‘war on terror’. Already, it’s illegal in many countries to ‘assist terrorists’ by putting up content that might be construed as giving ‘moral support’ to terrorism. So for example, if I put a link here for you donate to ‘al-Qu-eda’ (not sure how that would work as I don’t think they have a real Website), in theory I could be prosecuted as ‘aiding and assisting…blah-blah.

As to Assange’s motives? Who gives a shit? They’re not really relevant but judging by his writings, he strikes me as a very idealistic and naive person, easily duped by women and seduced by the allure of big media. This was why ‘celebritizing’ Assange was extremely important as it set him apart from us mere mortals. It’s a VIP, Access all Areas kinda thing.

Thus it’s vital that we continue to support Wikileaks and Assange and make sure that they don’t turn us all into outlaws by trying to write the truth.

Note

1. See: US grand jury to consider charges against Assange

2. For more on this, see ‘WikiLeaks uses old, new media to publish documents’, — Yahoo News, 26 July, 2010

Oh my, how things haven’t changed By William Bowles

10 May 2006

‘[I]f force enough can be concentrated on the area most concerned in the next few weeks, the back of the [Mau Mau] conspiracy may be broken.’ -The Manchester Guardian, September 1952

For those readers old enough (or well up on history) what strikes one about the current situation is just how nothing has actually changed when it comes to how the media covers events of importance, especially when it’s ‘us’ versus ‘them’, the ‘us’ being white, European/American ‘civilisation’ and the ‘them’—well pretty much the rest of the planet. Continue reading

Media Misinformation Roundup: How the BBC and the Guardian transform torture into bad PR and “history” for the occupiers By William Bowles

19 February 2006

Ghraib 1

The Western propaganda onslaught is relentless and most goes unnoticed largely because it appears to be ‘objective’ reporting. What is important to note with this alleged news is the insidious nature of the way events are presented to us, cloaked in seemingly innocuous language, yet an entire mindset is embedded in the way events are presented. Take this piece on the BBC’s Website: Continue reading