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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Spooky links

The Blair Witch project: Tony Blair is the godfather to Rupert Murdoch's young daughter.
Murdoch's third wife, Wendi Deng, who let slip the information in an interview with Vogue, described Blair as one of Rupert's closest friends. Blair's account of the relationship in his memoirs is somewhat different, portraying Murdoch as the big bad beast, who won his grudging respect. That is clearly disingenuous. As other memoirs and diaries from the Blair period are published, we see how close Murdoch was to the prime minister and the centre of power when really important decisions, such as the Iraq invasion, were being made.
For the longest time -- even after the Iraq invasion -- I tried to convince myself that Blair wasn't such a bad fellow. He reminded me of Bill Clinton, at least at first. Now he reminds me of Obama: The man who ruined his party.

Come to think of it: Maybe Blair provided the Obama template...?

"The name's Cole. Juan Cole." Juan Cole has worked for the CIA, or at least has offered consultations to the Agency.
This is not to claim that Cole is on a mission for the CIA to convince the left to support the imperial wars, most notably at the moment the war on Libya. Nor is this a claim that the revelation about the White House seeking information on Cole was a contrived psyops effort to rehabilitate Cole so that he could continue such a mission. That cannot be claimed, because there is as yet no evidence for it. But information flows two ways in any consultation, and it is even possible that Cole was being loaded with war-friendly information in hopes he would transmit it.
We shall see. I'm not sure what to make of this right now. For one thing: It is, in fact, a matter of some dispute as to whether or not the CIA favored the invasion of Iraq in the first place.

The end of Wikileaks? I was going to offer a shorter version of this affair, and may yet do so. But you would do better to read this history of the Great Wikileaks Fuckup in Der Spiegel. It's in English, and it's a gripping read.

Once you've devoured that piece, you may agree with my view that it is a bit silly to harp on Guardian writer David Leigh for publishing the password to that fabled (and still largely unexplored) treasure trove of secret cables. Leigh has made clear that he was told that the password would be good for only a limited time -- maybe hours, maybe days.

That said, it is obvious that he didn't need to publish any password. I think Leigh was going for writerly verisimilitude and went too far.

Leigh is a good writer, so I'm willing to cut him so slack. I was very impressed with his work on the Wilson plot.

Unbeknownst to him, Daniel Domscheit-Berg -- a former Assange associate -- put the whole secret file onto bittorrent, and let it be known that the thing could be opened with the password published in Leigh's book. Once the file was on bittorrent, it could not be called back.

The question now is whether Domscheit-Berg (who has founded his own version of Wikileaks) is a spook of some sort. Assange, from what I've been told, seems to think so.

Note that Domscheit-Berg redacted material about the Bank of America and various neo-Nazi groups in Europe -- but he allowed dissemination of raw State Department cables revealing the names of sources and informants. (Previously, Assange has usually been pretty good about redacting that stuff.)

Sources and informants will now think twice before talking to U.S. personnel. So, yeah, Assange got screwed -- but the U.S. got screwed much worse. And the screw-ER, in this case, was not Julian Assange.

Yet the Nazis and the B of A were protected.

Anyone who trusts DomScheisse-Berg and his new "OpenLeaks" operation is an idiot. Deutschland, Deutschland, ueber Alles...

(By the way: I am positive that poor Bradley Manning did not make those cables available. But don't be surprised if he one day so confesses.)
Some issues...

Both you and Greenwald managed to "vouch" for Leigh...not so sure why? He did in fact go out of his way to publish the entire passphrase in a book for profit.

As to the files, are we saying the cables AND the BofA files (etc) were all the same thing. (the uncompressed file is in csv format.) If so, then all that data should still be available since the Times and Guardian et al all got the same file and it was distributed via torrents.

Or is DDB claiming to have manually deleted SEPARATE files off the wikileaks sever before he walked out the door?

e.g. rm -f BofAfiles.7z.pgp
Leigh did yeoman's work on Brit intelligence's rotorootering of Wilson's Labor Party -- excellent on key relationships among Tory leadership, their oddly Old Brit funders and leaders in the spook elite. I liked Blair at first as well and he wasn't entirely odious on domestic issues like energy, public health and even some re-nationalization. But he always had a Gatsby quality, the lower-middle class outlier making himself essential to the bullying gentry.

Cole may or may not be sheep-dipped, but he's really boring.
I'm not that surprised about Juan Cole. It's previously bothered me that in his polemics, he at times can be deliberately dishonest (inventing or twisting "information" in a way that can't be interpreted as simply inadvertent/accidental).

On an unrelated note - I find this article (by a former Republican staffer) to be interesting:
Anyone who trusts any big newspaper is an idiot.

David Leigh would not have got promoted to where he is unless he was loyal to queen and country, i.e. SIS. I challenge anyone who is wholeheartedly critical of the existing power structure in Britain to contradict me on that.

Leigh also stitched up drug smuggler Howard Marks...who'd upset the boys and girls south of the river.

I don't hold any brief for drug smugglers, but funny how ones such as cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke don't get much flak from the street of shame.

As for Luke Harding, Moscow correspondent at the Guardian...funny how the great 'exposer' passed all the vetting.

Leigh is married to the sister of the ridiculous Alan Rusbridger, the 'safe pair of hands' who was promoted to the editorship when Peter Preston fell over the al-Fayed fax, and whom I shall always remember as proud to accept the 'best newspaper' award from government propagandist Peter Mandelson at the height of 'Blairism'.

There's no doubt that Leigh's stuff on Wilson is well written and has an allure, but his record is deeply Atlanticist and 'trusted'.

I'd put him in the same ball-park as Arnon Milchan and 'JFK'. His biggest 'investigative' work managed to damage some big-time Arab weapons interests.

OK, that's a good result, but we have to ask whether some of our enemies' enemies' may not also be our own enemies. Look at how Aitken lost his libel case.

The whole of the British 'security and intelligence community' knew in 1976 that Wilson was unlawfully brought down with CIA help. That was the time to make waves, not years later.

I can't stand the Watergate myth and all the bullshit about 'great' journalists. I'm beginning to realise that Nixon may even have been a tiny bit less of a fucking poodle to vested interests than many other US presidents.

Funny how the Guardian hasn't caused too many problems for Rusbridger's (and Berlusconi's) mafia mate David Mills.

Oh no, wait a minute, mafia money-launderer David Mills and Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger shared the same sister-in law, namely Barbara Mills, who died in May and who was formerly the Director of Public Prosecutions.
And the latest from the UK: using the Westbourne PR agency, leading economists are demanding tax cuts for the rich.

One of them bleats that many hedge funds have already moved to Switzerland.

Well there's a fucking answer to that one: reintroduce export controls on capital. Of the kind that were abolished shortly after Thatcher took office in 1979.

Of course, the idea that 'helping the hedge funds' is the best basis for government economic policy amounts to talking up another kind of tax - the tax that goes directly into the pockets of the increasingly anonymous internationally-mobile super-rich on whose behalf these stinking economists are speaking.

Lose your job. Get kicked out of your home because the rent's gone up. Eat shit. Mustn't 'punish' the rich by making them pay tax, or inconvenience them by making them take their money to Switzerland. That would be "unfair", that would.

Here's the list of signatories, the 'filthy twenty':

DeAnne Julius, Chmn, Chatham House; ex-mem, Monetary Policy Comm
Sushil Wadhwani, Chief Exec, Wadhwani Asset Mgmt; ex-mem, Monetary Policy Comm
Bob Rowthorn, Emeritus Prof of Econ and Fellow of King’s Coll, Univ of Cambridge
Danny Quah, Prof of Econ, London School of Econ
Bridget Rosewell, Volterra Consulting
Paul Ormerod, Volterra Consulting
Mark Harrison, Prof of Econ, Univ of Warwick
Ronald MacDonald, Adam Smith Prof of Political Econ, Univ of Glasgow
Michael Ben-Gad, Prof of Econ, City Univ London
Prof Keith Pilbeam, Director of Business Econ, City Univ London
Anne Sibert, Prof of Econ, Birbeck Coll, Univ of London
Nick Bosanquet, Prof of Health Policy, Imperial Coll, Univ of London
Roger Bootle, Capital Economics
Patrick Minford, Prof of Applied Econ, Cardiff Univ
Kent Matthews, Head of Dept, Cardiff Univ
Robert Mcnabb, Prof of Econ, Cardiff Univ
Panicos Demetriades, Prof of Econ, University of Leicester
Stephen Hall, Prof of Econ, Univ of Leicester
Gianni De Fraja, Prof of Econ, Univ of Leicester
Peter Sinclair, Prof of Econ, Univ of Birmingham

Here are some links they don't mention:

DeAnne Julius - US citizen, ex-CIA, oil industry and aerospace, currently dir of Jones Lang LaSalle, global 'financial services' company specialising in real estate

Sushil Wadhwani - founder of a fucking hedge fund himself

Bob Rowthorn - Cambridge academic and pseudo-'Marxist' (give me a break!! - how much did they pay the creep?)

Bridget Rosewell - wears both 'private sector' and 'public sector' hats, and we all know what that means. Author of such absurd statements as "We need to move away from portrayals of greedy fat cat bankers and help our capital (i.e. London - b note) recover its place as a centre of world finance".

Yeah yeah - one horse has gone missing, so let's open all the stable doors! The experts say that's the thing to do!
Daniel DomScheisse-Berg AKA DDB, IMHO is a major spook, who made big todo about his kitty needing a therapist after spending time with Assange in the same house and how Assage ATE his coocoo (WHAAAAAA WHAAAA...) has to be a SPOOK!

Honestly, both David Leigh and DDB both ran to write books and say all and any tid bit about Assange in a negative light while portraying themselves as the artful writers in their book dreams of the main men in a double O07 drama.

The question remains, were these two chit chatting about their doings...

Woman Voter
Actually b, you forgot to mention that Bootle is looking to sell Capital Economics to private equity, and besides, how could that company take any other line. Its clients are all hedge funds and banks.
Really good comments on this post so far.

"By the way: I am positive that poor Bradley Manning did not make those cables available."

Okay, I'll bite on your Steve Jobsian ending. Are you positive as in a direction or an absolute place? I don't support the treatment of Manning but I haven't seen a single shred of evidence suggesting the official narrative (at least the Adrian Lamo part) was fabricated. Educate me.
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