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
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.)