I'll have the rest of the Abramoff/Obama story soon. In the meantime, a word or two about Wikileaks.
Frankly, I believe Julian Assange
when he says that he had no contact with the imprisoned Private Bradley Manning.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Bradley Manning is being kept in very rough detention in order to pressure him to testify against Assange
. So far, all the evidence suggests that Manning did not reveal the State Department cables. The helicopter video, perhaps -- but not the later releases. I've said it before and will say it again: This poor schlub has fall guy
written all over him.
In other words, the administration plans to "Dreyfus" Private Manning until he breaks. If and when he does (and keep in mind that Dreyfus finally cracked), I would counsel taking a skeptical attitude toward his testimony.
The Assange conundrum continues to perplex. On one hand, the right-wingers are screaming for his head -- literally. On the other hand, you can make a pretty good argument that most WikiLeaked material serves a right-wing agenda: Embarrass Hillary, foment hostility against Iran, boost global warming denial, and so on. Some of the leaked anti-Iran documents buttress the viewpoint propagated by these forgeries
gives us a background briefing worth noting, although I advise you to read cautiously. (Even for me
, Chossudovsky is too foily
.) An early adviser to WikiLeaks was the right-wing Freedom House, which had links to the Bush administration. The original focus of the WikiLeaks operation was China and Russia; we are even told that Russian and Chinese dissidents helped to create the site.John Young
, founder of Cryptome.org, thinks that Assange has been secretly working for "the Man" from the beginning. (Of course, Young may simply be paranoid.) One of Assange's closest early associates in the hacker community is employed by DARPA. Right now, Assange is under "manor arrest" in the abode of a wealthy "right wing libertarian." Chossudovsky:
Wikileaks has the essential features of a process of "manufactured dissent". It seeks to expose government lies. It has released important information on US war crimes. But once the project becomes embedded in the mould of mainstream journalism, it is used as an instrument of media disinformation...
. But story gets even odder.
WikiLeaks is allegedly supported, at least in part, by Carl Lundstrom
, who can usually be spotted goosestepping around the far right of Sweden's far right. It also appears that one Israel Shamir has a place among Assange's small coterie of employees. Shamir is just about the oddest duck in Duckberg: Although he claims to be a Russian-born Israeli, he also writes ludicrously anti-Semitic material under the name Jordan Jermas. In Sweden, he and his son
(who is just as bizarre) are counted among the Scandanivian versions of Alex Jones and Milton Cooper. At this point, I can't tell if the "Jermas" identity is some sort of cover (a la "John Roy Carlson," a pseudonym which may be familiar to some of you), or if the "Israel Shamir" persona was bogus to begin with. Either way, my nostrils detect an unpleasant odor.
Worth noting: Very little WikiLeaks material has proven embarrassing to Israel or to the neo-cons. True, we have this
, but I consider that stuff to be weak tea. The vast majority of the WikiLeaked documentation pushes for war with Iran -- a goal of America's neo-cons and Likud's hawks.
Count me among those who think that the rape allegations
against Assange seem honeytrap-ish -- downright outlandish. A raped woman isn't going to let the rapist sleep in her bed for the next week, and isn't going to tell friends that the guy is a lousy lay. Feminist readers may become infuriated by these words, but I don't care: No male dissident is safe if the unverified word of a female is considered sacrosanct. The idea of a woman making false accusations may be inconceivable to you, but not to me. (Does anyone still believe Juanita Broaderick?)
So where does this leave us? Some web sites will tell you that Julian Assange is a tool of Western intelligence; others say that he is the target
of Western intelligence. Both sides can mount an intriguing argument. Some call him an anti-Semite (or at least a friend to anti-Semites), while others call him a stooge for Israel. Both sides can mount an intriguing argument.
In short: The man finds himself on the receiving end of mutually contradictory accusations. That takes talent.
One possibility: Maybe Assange's operation began as an intelligence front. Then he went off the reservation. Simple as that.
Another possibility: Assange is legit -- and naive. The neo-cons decided to use him for a two-fold purpose: First, to spread memes favoring their cause -- and second, to get laws and legal precedent in place which may one day be used to shut down all investigative reporting