When will the U.S. take the Wikileaks information seriously?

October 25, 2010 | By | 8 Replies More

According to the South African newspaper Business Day, Great Britain is taking the recent information release seriously:

BRITAIN said yesterday that the allegations against US-led forces for previously unreported civilian deaths and ignoring torture carried out by Iraqi forces, contained in “leaked” military documents on whistle- blower website WikiLeaks, were “extraordinarily serious”. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told BBC television people were waiting for an official response to the “shocking” allegations published by Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, against US and coalition troops.

It’s distressing how the NYT and many other media outlets would rather do hatchet jobs on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange than deal with the content of the leak and the ramifications for A) U.S. foreign policy and B) the stunning lack of candor between the American Government and its citizens.

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Category: Media, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (8)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    "On Saturday, Assange walked out of an interview in London with CNN reporter Atika Shubert after she began asking him about his personal legal issues. Assange is being investigated in Sweden on charges of sexual abuse that were first dropped, and then reopened. Assange took offense with Shubert's line of questioning, calling it "disgusting" and accusing Shubert of not wanting to discuss the issues raised by the documents released by WikiLeaks, and walked out."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/26/julian-a

  2. Brynn Jacobs says:

    If you watch the interview that Assange walked out of, pay attention to the not-so-subtle use of color. The set behind Assange is lit with sinister red lighting. The questions focused on whether Assange was becoming too much of a liability for Wikileaks. Assange tried to redirect the questions back to the actual news, i.e. the document leak which proved the US had been lying about keeping records of civilian casualties, as well as covering up the deaths of some 104,000 civilians.

    I guess in our celebrity news culture, those deaths are less important than the potential for a sordid sex scandal. Sad, but not unexpected.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      When I read about the lack of interest in the massive military cover-up by most of the mass media, here's what occurs to me:

      Nihilism (pronounced /ˈnaɪ.əlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.əlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

  3. Brynn Jacobs says:

    Erich: I'd tie it back in to your post on psychopathy as well. I think we must be on the same wavelength– I've been working for a while on a post about psychopaths which I hope to have up soon.

    It's interesting that you bring up nihilism in this context, as many psychopaths during interviews can sound remarkably like nihilists. One of the hallmark traits of psychopaths is their rejection of conventional moral standards, and in fact they revel in acting in anti-social ways and in manipulating others for selfish reasons. Some of them even believe that the rest of us (non-psychopaths) recognize that there are no objective moral standards, but are too weak or otherwise unwilling to act outside of social norms to advance our own agendas. I'm away from my reference materials on the subject right now, but if you're interested I'll find some quotations to support this.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Brynn: To the extent that society is afflicted with a bout of psychopathy, it is an especially strong strain of it. It seems to be leading large numbers of us to act and vote against their own best interests, in addition to being apathetic toward others.

      I look forward to reading your thoughts and research on psychopaths.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald puts the NYT hatchet job on Julian Assange in context, with some outstanding analysis and writing:

    "Apparently, many people become quite angry when the newspaper which did more to enable the attack on Iraq than any other media outlet in the world covered one of the most significant war leaks in American history — documents detailing the deaths of more than 100,000 human beings in that war and the heinous abuse of thousands of others — by assigning its most celebrated war correspondent and London Bureau Chief to studiously examine and malign the totally irrelevant personality quirks, alleged mental health, and various personal relationships of Julian Assange. Imagine that. "

    The author of that hatchet piece, John Burns, just doesn't get why people are upset at him. Greenwald explains further:

    "Oh my, how upsetting. People are so very "embittered," and over what? Just a couple of decade-long wars that have spilled enormous amounts of innocent blood, devastated two countries for no good reason, and spawned a worldwide American regime of torture, lawless imprisonment, and brutal occupation."

    Greenwald clearly documents the double-standard in American mainstream journalism, caused by the too-cozy relationship between reporters and Washington D.C/The Pentagon:

    "'Hagiography' is exactly what the American establishment media does, when it comes to powerful American political and military leaders. Slimy, personality-based hit pieces are reserved for those who are scorned by the powerful in Washington — such as Julian Assange."

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald

  5. Brynn Jacobs says:

    From The Guardian (UK):

    In the 1970s – when hippies were alive and kicking – there was "a generation that valued integrity and the principle of truth." People were concerned about the substance of the leaks, the discovery that the US president had lied to the people.

    By contrast, even though the Wikileaks revelations tell of killings and torture in Iraq that are more shocking than those exposed by the Pentagon Papers, "all anyone seems to talk about is what a jerk the guy [Assange] is."

    "Assange may have been born at the wrong time. It's as if he's force-feeding truth to a world that has no stomach for it."

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald points out the chest-beating insanity we are hearing from the right regarding the Wikileaks disclosures. They want (literally) to kill the messenger, without any due process. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald

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