POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY RICHARD SPENCER IN THE TELEGRAPH
“All bizarre and nonsensical conspiracy theory of course.”
It is not at all clear why you should say that. The “of course” only emphasizes the lack of analytical basis for your total dismissal.
Especially when one considers that in the end you yourself suggest a theme to the material.
“Ultimately, they put the onus on Middle Eastern countries to explain themselves. The cables are America’s own explanations. Neither Iran nor many of its Arab friends and enemies like being held to account overmuch.”
In our own lifetimes, we have learned of many dark operations more impressive than the selected release of some not-all-that-secret documents, many of them having release dates of not too many years in the future. The term “conspiracy theory” is now consistently used to disparage those who are genuinely puzzled about the official explanations of certain big events.
Yes, we have the paranoid extreme, but that extends into the mainstream too, even into politics.
In the end you must judge major news events by the standards of the late I.F. Stone. You must read different versions and explanations and make comparisons and weightings. You must judge the purport of the material itself, what it is intended to say or not say.
We live in a shadow world as never before in human history with vast intelligence establishments working day and night and a press now reduced to a small number of owners who have their own reasons for giving slants to affairs or even completely misrepresenting them.
Truth is perceived infrequently, but there are immensely well-financed establishments busy “getting out the story” and even creating it in some cases. To say otherwise is to admit to extreme naiveté or perhaps dishonesty.
When was the last time a paper like your Telegraph or even the New York Times did some serious investigative journalism for readers? Especially where the earth-shaking matters are concerned, rather than mother’s milk stuff like the abuse of parliamentary expenses. Almost never.
Where were you with Blair’s countless lies? Bush’s lies and absurdities? We lived through a set of events in which, after the greatest peace march in history, Blair managed to twist the truth and lie his way into doing something against the overwhelming sense of the British people. And the press pretty well let it happen.
We only have a few genuine investigative journalists in the world, and they include notably Seymour Hersh and Robert Fisk. But even their work must be subject to evaluation. They can have things planted on them, and they make mistakes.
The WikiLeaks material is undoubtedly authentic, but that does not at all exclude an underlying purpose in its release.
It is a well-known practice of intelligence agencies to give large bits of genuine material, none of it too compromising, in order to get either an important piece of intelligence in return or to “bury” some damaging deception like a fish hook planted in a minnow.
The CIA used to brag of having a huge house organ whose keys could be played to create the sense of a Bach fugue of seeming news. It was talking about all the publications, both compliant and duped, in which it could plant a story and have it reverberate ultimately as a convincing event.
I’m not sure whether WikiLeaks itself falls into the compliant or duped category, but the nature of the material, the main themes plus the many important things undoubtedly missing, say something important to those listening carefully.
I am completely underwhelmed by the content of the military WikiLeaks, both this time and previously.
Very little there that well-informed people did not already know. Yes, of course, the juicy tidbits about so-and-so said are fun, and so they are meant to be, but they are not all that informative.
I am sure there are countless lies and atrocities contained in the universe covered so far by WikiLeaks, but they are not in the material released.
The idea that no one knows where Assange is also strikes me as slightly ridiculous in this age of massive intelligence operations and the trampling of individual rights in the name of fighting terror.
If you think otherwise because of Osama bin Laden, you are rather late in learning he has been dead since the bombing of Tora Bora. The United States has kept him alive, as it were, for a focus in its insane War on Terror.
The US looks like an innocent victim, just guilty of some unpleasant gossip here and there. Who wouldn’t know that? Israel gains support for an attack on Iran.
The leaks serve Israeli-Pentagon interests.
And do so in a convincing, seemingly disinterested way.
These leaks also serve America’s now cancerously-swollen intelligence apparatus in seeking more repression and secrecy within American society.
Your off-hand dismissal is unfair and unwarranted.