Archive for the ‘WIKILEAKS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SECRET RECORDINGS OF PRIVATE MANNING ARE LEAKED: HIS REASONS FOR REVEALING ARMY SECRETS ARE THE MOST HONORABLE POSSIBLE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN RUSSIA TODAY

Private Manning deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, and as few recipients have deserved it in recent years.

He represents a genuine hero for our time, having risked so very much to reveal truth, a most ugly set of truths too.

His words about being most affected by seeing helicopter pilots enjoying their devilish work of slaughtering what were obviously civilians reminded me painfully of the recordings of American pilots during the first Gulf War.

Poor Iraqi troops – just poor conscripts for the most part – were evacuating Kuwait City and trying to retreat.

A huge traffic jam allowed American pilots to swoop down, again and again, to strafe and bomb their vehicles.

Hundreds of the retreating troops were killed in the most horrible fashion in acts no different to shooting a fleeing man in the back.

We heard voices of American pilots yelling out things like, “Hey, this is jus’ like shootin’ fish in a barrel! Whoopee!”

It was a horrifying moment for any person of conscience.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: JULIAN ASSANGE’S WIKILEAKS POSTS THE ENTIRE UNREDACTED QUARTER MILLION SECRET DOCUMENTS – AND DOES THE ESTABLISHMENT EVER HOWL   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Anything which could possibly endanger the interests of the military-intelligence-security apparatus of the United States is not necessarily a bad thing.

Indeed, America’s government within a government deserves all the sunlight cast upon it possible.

Every inadvertent negative that can come out of something like this is more than offset by increased public awareness of the extent to which the contemporary United States Establishment works actively against democratic and human values in the world.

There is a dark engine throbbing away in the basements of the American military-intelligence-security apparatus today that relatively few fully appreciate, and it works only for the imperial interests of corporate America and no one else.
__________________________________

“Julian Assange: psychopath who uses the Internet to endanger peoples’ lives and livelihoods without any empathy or remorse.”

A list of some genuine psychopaths:

George Bush

Donald Rumsfeld

Dick Cheney

Condi Rice

Henry Kissinger

Richard Nixon

Hillary Clinton

Half the employees of the CIA and related agencies

Most of the members of American Special Forces

Many of the leaders of American corporations (a recent study actually shows this)

Whether Assange should be included, I don’t know, but you know the old argument of fighting fire with fire.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WIKILEAKS AND THE IDEA THAT JULIAN ASSANGE IS A HERO ONLY FOR NOW – REFLECTION ON NATURE OF HEROISM   Leave a comment


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MATTHEW NORMAN IN THE TELEGRAPH

But most heroes are glamorous only for now.

That has always been the case.

It is called celebrity, and it has the lasting qualities of the froth on a beer.

There are a few genuine heroes here and there, and most go uncelebrated.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EDITORIAL ASSERTS JULIAN ASSANGE WANTS A WORLD WITHOUT SECRETS AND WOULDN’T THAT BE TERRIBLE? A PHONY ARGUMENT AGAINST DEMOCRACY   Leave a comment


 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The Globe’s editorials just get dumber and dumber.

They are beginning to remind me of “new sound” of CBC Radio, uninformed and half-baked.

Assange wants a world without secrets?

First, you have no basis for that assertion, none whatever.

Second, as any informed person understands, there are secrets and then there are secrets.

No one, absolutely no one, wants a world with no secrets.

But the fact seems to have eluded the writer of this intellectual mush that for decades we have been victims of unwarranted official secrets and just plain lies.

So much so that when the Globe or anyone else presents the news, none of us, including the Globe, even knows whether it is genuine news, and if it is genuine news, whether it is predicated upon false antecedents.

How can you have an informed democracy in that kind of environment? You cannot. And America very much does not, and with a man like Harper as leader Canada creeps off slowly in that same direction.

Take any example you like from history since WWII.

The invasion of Iraq was based on lies, began other lies, and to this day most people do not understand why countless billions were spent and upwards of half a million people killed.

The same analysis applies to the foolish crusade in Afghanistan. Only yesterday we had two reports on progress there: an official one, from the president, saying things were going okay, and an intelligence leak saying things weren’t going fine at all. This is absolutely typical of America’s world of imperial secrets today.

One could provide an astounding list of the cost in lives and treasure official lies and secrets have caused.

And people cast ballots for people who tell them no truth, intending to do things the voters would never support if they knew the truth. Broken campaign promises are pretty small change compared to this systematic distortion of democracy.

Ten years of Vietnam, killing about 3 million innocent people and leaving a landscape devastated? All started with a big fat lie, and an endless series of lies saw the horror through.

The genocide of Cambodia with a million or so killed? All started with a big fat lie: the American bombing and mini-invasions destabilized a decent neutral government, handing power off to the likes of Pol Pot.

I am genuinely tired of the kind of smug, self-righteousness of right-wing people like the author of this editorial. They have done nothing for the decades of my life but lead us into mass murder and destruction, time after time after time.

There is no possible effect of leaks like those of WikiLeaks that can be remotely so damaging as the real big-power world of lies, deceptions, and secrets.

We truly are approaching, and I think Americans have virtually reached, a world where your vote does not matter at all because you have no idea what it is you are voting for. The immense excitement over Obama two years ago has all been ground into the dust as he carries on killing and lying just like George Bush.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ASSASSINATION THREAT-AS-JOKE OF TOM FLANAGAN AN AMERICAN ACADEMIC WHOSE POST IN CALGARY IS USED AS A TOXIC DUMP   Leave a comment


JOHN CHUCKMAN
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

There is nothing new in learning anything which confirms that Tom Flanagan is a nasty piece of work.

The man is pure, unadulterated American Right-Wing, a thrust-the-imperial-flag-into-the-chests-of-those-working-against-America’s-sacred-interests man, without a trace of decent traditional conservative.

He literally represents in Canada everything you find in that ugly mob which includes Dick “kill the turbanhead scum” Cheney, Tom “the money launderer” DeLay, Sarah “the idiot witth super-sized glands” Palin, Newt “I divorced my wife dying of cancer” Gingrich, and all the other charming Washington folks who work tirelessly for war and imperial interests. The influence and the money for promoting Right-Wing values come up alongside the same pipelines which carry Alberta’s crude and natural gas South.

I have never understood why the Globe gives him column-inches periodically, other than the well-know fact that he has been adviser to Harper, truly the most divisive politician in living memory and a man who already has succeeded in corroding away like spilled battery acid a great deal of Canada’s past wonderful international reputation.

Flanagan’s columns have never demonstrated anything beyond the academic quality or interest of just another second-rate social scientist. He is in academic terms a truly undistinguished thinker.

But there is nothing second rate or undistinguished about his visceral instincts for plotting against and trying to destroy traditional Canadian values. The man is an instinctive predator, a perfect hunting-mate for Harper.

I note the comment that Flanagan’s comment about killing Assange was made in the form of a joke, but then only rather sick people make such jokes or laugh at them.

Shouldn’t people who say such things be treated as terrorists, or at least as people having made a criminal threat?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHY IS JULIAN ASSANGE PICKING ON THE UNITED STATES? – A BRITISH THINK-TANK HACK DEMONSTRATES HE IS AS VAPID AS HIS AMERICAN COUNTERPARTS   Leave a comment


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY GEORGE GRANT IN THE TELEGRAPH

“Why is Julian Assange picking on the United States?”

Had I known what is written at the bottom of the piece – that George Grant is Global Security & Terrorism Director at The Henry Jackson Society, a Foreign Policy Think Tank based in London – I would have read George Grant’s words with less sense of perplexity about the man not knowing what he is talking about.

For clearly, he does not.

But in the United States where there are many think-tanks it is typical of their directors, associates, and fellows to write nonsense.

Think-tanks in the U. S. are basically propaganda mills styling themselves as institutions of higher learning.

They are in most cases funded by right-wing extremists with lots of money.

And their “fellows” consist of educated hacks who have loyally served right-wing causes in government, receiving their places as comfortable sinecures, much as some of the sinecures in America’s gift that have been showered upon Tony Blair as reward for his bloody work with Bush.

The “fellows” always remind me of actors on television commercials wearing white lab coats and carrying clipboards, letting viewers assume they are doctors advising them to buy some over-the-counter headache remedy.

I should have thought it was obvious that Assange, as someone running a whistle-blower internet site, takes gratefully the significant material offered him. He did not hack American government computers to get the stuff: his supplier or suppliers did. He may not even know who the person supplying him is.

I should have thought it was also highly likely that were some juicy inside material to come from Russia or Israel, Assange would be happy to run it. But then we are not very likely to see that coming from such tightly-controlled and secretive governments, are we?

As far as Grant’s underlying assumption about a focus on America, please consider that America’s military now spends more annually than all the other governments on the planet combined.

Consider also that the American intelligence apparatus now consists of about 16 agencies, and their spending is thought to exceed $80 billion a year.

Add to those considerations that since World War II America has fought a huge number of dirty colonial wars – Vietnam, Cambodia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq – killing literally millions of people for no good purpose and has participated in countless coups and overthrows of legitimate governments, including democratic ones – Iran, Chile, Guatemala, and others – and you do get a real sense of what Lord Acton said follows as we approach absolute power.

Grant’s piece is just a slightly disguised ad hominem attack, and a rather silly one. It contains no analysis whatsoever. So I guess Grant may return to his think-tank office this morning and lean back in his swiveled leather chair, gazing out the window and dreamily thinking he has earned his salary for this month fighting the good fight for America’s interests.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IS WIKILEAKS A FRONT FOR THE CIA OR MOSSAD? A JOURNALIST ASKS AND IMMEDIATELY DISMISSES A FAIR QUESTION WITH NO GOOD REASON   Leave a comment


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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.

Cui bono?

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.