WikiLeaks, WikiDrama and WikiGossip → Washingtons Blog
WikiLeaks, WikiDrama and WikiGossip - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WikiLeaks, WikiDrama and WikiGossip

What should we make of the Wikileaks story?

Obviously, the Swedish "sex crime" charges are ridiculous, as are the death threats against Wikileaks founds Julian Assange. See this, this and this.

Some leading first amendment advocates support Wikileaks as a vital resource. For example, John Perry Barlow - founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a great organization with a long and proven track record in fighting censorship) says:

The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops.
Likewise, the ACLU has been fighting for Wikileaks for years.

And Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky think Wikileaks is the real deal.

However, many savvy observers argue that that Wikileaks is not what it seems.

For example, former U.S. National Security Adviser under President Carter (and top foreign policy advisor) Zbigniew Brzezinski doesn’t think all the leaked information coming out of Wikileaks is a result of Army PFC Bradley Manning, and suspects a foreign intelligence service may be providing the more embarrassing leaks for their own political reasons.

As Brzezinski told PBS:
The real issue is, who is feeding Wikipedia on this issue — Wiki — Wiki — WikiLeaks on this issue? They’re getting a lot of information which seems trivial, inconsequential, but some of it seems surprisingly pointed.


For example, there are references to a report by our officials that some Chinese leaders favor a reunified Korea under South Korea.

This is clearly designed to embarrass the Chinese and our relationship with them. The very pointed references to Arab leaders could have as their objective undermining their political credibility at home, because this kind of public identification of their hostility towards Iran could actually play against them at home…


It’s, rather, a question of whether WikiLeaks are being manipulated by interested parties that want to either complicate our relationship with other governments or want to undermine some governments, because some of these items that are being emphasized and have surfaced are very pointed.

And I wonder whether, in fact, there aren’t some operations internationally, intelligence services, that are feeding stuff to WikiLeaks, because it is a unique opportunity to embarrass us, to embarrass our position, but also to undermine our relations with particular governments.

For example, leaving aside the personal gossip about Sarkozy or Berlusconi or Putin, the business about the Turks is clearly calculated in terms of its potential impact on disrupting the American-Turkish relationship.


Seeding — seeding it is very easy.

I have no doubt that WikiLeaks is getting a lot of the stuff from sort of relatively unimportant sources, like the one that perhaps is identified on the air. But it may be getting stuff at the same time from interested intelligence parties who want to manipulate the process and achieve certain very specific objectives.

Other smart people point out that - while there is pointed information challenging the actions of other countries - the information coming from Wikileaks about the U.S. is more of the nature of gossip, and doesn't actually challenge U.S. foreign or domestic policy is a direct manner. For example, the information disclosed to date doesn't challenge the narrative of the "War on Terror" itself, the government's handling of the economic crisis, or any other central American policy.

So whether Wikileaks is a first amendment champion or an intelligence service psychological operation aiming to persuade and embarrass, so far it has mainly been a bunch of gossip in terms of leaks about America.

If you don't believe me, read some of the actual cables which have been released. While there have been some stunners about foreign countries, the ones regarding U.S. actions have been nothing but idle chatter about well-known people or events, providing interesting but wholly irrelevant details about what people were wearing or who they slept with. No breakthrough revelations which actually challenge core U.S. policy.

(Many people are saying that the disclosure that the U.S. has spied on the United Nations shows the value of Wikileaks. But it has been known for years that the U.S. spies on the U.N. See this, this and this.)

As the very mainstream, Murdoch-owned Herald Sun notes:
We're told the leaks are "explosive" and "sensational", revealing America's "dark face".

Rubbish. In fact, the WikiLeaks dump of more than 250,000 classified cables from US diplomats reveals little more than gossip on the embassy circuit.


These leaks expose no crime and nail no US lie.


Yet Assange may also have done the US an inadvertent favour, just as he did with his earlier dump of documents on Iraq, which showed there was actually no conspiracy and no war crimes being hushed up.


[It] all confirms the world is as menacing as the US grimly says.


Overall, then, there is more in these leaks to confirm the US view of this world than there is to comfort its critics.

As the head of long-time whistleblower Cryptome (and former Wikileaks supporter - John Young - argues, Wikileaks has been more hype than substance:
Cryptome does not seek publicity or media coverage. Wikileaks does by issuing press releases, taunting the media, orchestrating bombshell releases, glamourizing Julian Assange, behaving mysteriously, ... exaggerating the value of what it publishes, editorializes about its publications excessively -- all the methods used by those who believe excessive valuation is a good thing.
So far - despite the media frenzy - it's more like WikiGossip than WikiLeaks.

Don't get distracted by the WikiDrama ... Unless WikiLeaks releases something which discloses criminal behavior by a large American bank, more damning information about the government's actions than the Fed's own data release, or facts which undermine the false war on terror narrative - Brzezinski himself told the Senate that the war on terror is "a mythical historical narrative" - such as previously unknown false flags, then it's mainly a publicity-seeking melodrama more than an authentic challenge to American power.

Remember that the corporate press tends to be pro-war. The more cynical might argue that the fact that the corporate press is publishing all of the cables released by Wikileaks could imply that the material is not fundamentally of an anti-war nature.

The more cynical also point out that many credible whistleblowers - including former high-level government officials - have been ignored over the last 10 years by the corporate media when they have disclosed facts which challenged core U.S. policy. But Wikileaks is getting 24/7 coverage. I'm strongly for whistleblowers ... I'm just not convinced that WikiLeaks is as hard-hitting as other whistleblower groups out there.

All people of good faith agree that f
reedom of information and freedom of speech are vital in a free society. The real question is whether this particular organization is made up of WikiHeroes, WikiPublicityHounds, WikiDupes, or WikiDisinfoAgents.

Only time will tell.


  1. Oh please!!!! Brzezinski is PNAC and the ugly consequences of PNAC are exposed by the work of wikileaks. And you seriously think Brzezinski will give an honest critique? His testimony is completely compromised.

  2. It's "gossip" because that's what diplomats do: gossip with an official badge for such role. However in the bunch of gossip there are some informative pearls, like a request from Hilary Clinton on info on a long list of civilian strategic facilities worldwide of critical interest, which really gives an impression of what kind of stuff and in which countries does the US Empire have most interests. In Europe for instance that's Germany, while it's interesting that some of the major recipients of US military aid like Colombia or Israel have very low or zero value in Clinton's list. The list is detailed on pharmaceutical industries, other industries of military interest, mines, harbors, pipelines (for example a North Siberian Russian pipeline junction described as the most critical one on Earth).

    That stuff is most interesting and a delight to read. If it's being provided by other services, I really could not care less, but most probably it's people within the USA who is fed up with the fascist evolution of this country's government and want to make it more transparent. Sadly so far no top secret cables have been produced.

    Wikileaks has declared it has other states' secrets that will release soon. My biggest fear is that the leaks are being accumulating at faster pace than Wikileaks can process them (verify and publish them). While I do not want to idealize anyone, I think that these people are doing a good service to Humankind by evidencing how the World really works: we need less secrets and more transparency, and it's something surely unavoidable in the Internet era anyhow, so imperialist secre-loving power-mongerers like the dreaded Brzezinski should be totally ignored, disdained and feared for extending opacity and obscurantism into our lives.

  3. This is the first column from this blog that has disappointed me. Are we going the way of the shock jock now?

    Did you think the shooting of children and journalists was gossip? Did you think the torture of the innocent German citizen was gossip? Did you think the shooting of Canadian soldiers was gossip? Do you think the willy nilly classification of non urgent information was no big deal?

  4. Anyone who knows the reach and history of the CIA and the technology they have is cautious that any “intelligence” leaks, especially electronic information that they specialize in; could be a false flag disinformation campaign (that they are also masters of) designed by the CIA to further a hidden agenda.

    If that is the case, then they will have to divulge some creditable information to give the leak credibility. That information has value even if it is a repeat of information that is already known and there may be gems released that were not known before. Mr. Assange may be a patsy and not know it. The hidden agenda will become more apparent as more information is released.

  5. This whole 'tainted' theory is exactly the sort of FUD that you'd expect from the US state department and the CIA. On the face of it, it sounds plausible, but then why aren't they doing it?

    Riddle me this batman - if the leaks are so worthless, then why is the response to the leaks so disproportionately aggressive? You can't have it both ways. Either it's worthless idle gossip or by some bizarre stretch of imagination it's a despicable act of `terrorism' or whatever it's supposed to be.

    Perhaps you should read some of the documents yourself, or avail yourself of other media sources than those inside the USA who have been shown by such leaks to be complicit in the lies of your government.

    They might not be world-changing lies, but do note that public statements from your leaders are directly contradicted by what some of these cables suggest is what they really know. But if you're happy to be lied to then so be it.

    (incidentally, you do realise these are only up to 'secret' - which is not a terribly high classification, as demonstrated by their content and who has access to them. You can't expect a lot.).

  6. I am leaning towards the opinion that Wikileaks is a CIA psy-ops or similar. Nothing is published that is truly harmful to the U.S., but sure does stir up the proponents for censorship


  8. Do you really think it's "WikiLeaks-supporting hackers" who mounted DOS attacks on Visa and Mastercard? More likely a little of the usual false flag stuff, a group of CIA goons forming a WikiAlQueda to create a justification for taking away more rights. I don't buy it for a moment. Just more psy-ops. The main question a REAL media would be asking is who is feeding them the 250k documents, and how come there's nothing really earth-shattering or revealing about BushCo or Obama? Yawn...

  9. Why the wikileaks are overblown

  10. Brzezinski is a team player and not to be trusted.

    Wikileaks released video of US soldiers committing cold-blooded murder from a helicopter for fun, and little has come of it. This is because of the low expectations people in general have of the system. The current furore is generating a consciousness that secrecy is not the inevitable nature of governance, and an expectation that the secrecy must stop. I do not see how it could be in the best interests of PNAC etc to stir up the mob like this.

  11. Consider the possibility--which has proven to be the case in other situations--that Wikileaks may very well have started legitimately, insofar as the sincerity of Assange. (I can't imagine any advantage to himself personally for the exposure he surely had to know he would bring upon himself.) Next, the PTB (Powers That Be) make him an offer he can't refuse. You take it from there.

    It happened with L. Ron Hubbard's work, which is continuing in a distorted form as the Church of Scientology, and from which came the Remote Viewing of the Fed's creation. The admission that Women's Lib was financed by the CIA. The CIA's contributing to the founding of the Taliban. The creation of "Al Queda." Add your own observations. You know the drill.

    One of the most insidious and lesser-noted consequences of the increasing sophistication of the Illuminati peers has been the extraordinary development of mid-level control, both here and abroad.

    Take 9/11, or the Kennedy assassination (either, take your pick.) All of a sudden, well-established procedures, both for countering threats and for investigating same, are completely bypassed by some commanders at the mid-level, who can, with lightening speed, interpose themselves and dictate totally illegal orders--and then withdraw into the ether. As an instrument pilot, I can tell you that no experienced pilot I know believes the official fairy tale.

    Every organization--here and abroad--has either been infiltrated by--if not created by--the CIA and its minions. They have only to increase or decrease support of one side of an issue or the other to produce the state of affairs they want to see.

    I've been around for over 74 years. I never thought I would see this country come to this.

  12. 2010-12-10: If We Lose our Internet Freedoms Because of Wikileaks, You Should At Least Know Why by Scott Creighton

    Glenn Greenwald: Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama's closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs." In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists.

    2010-12-11: Cass Sunstein, Wikileaks And The Public Right To Know by Joe Quinn

    2010-12-12: Wikileaks Rocks ... Or does it?
    "None other than Cass Sunstein introduced Wikileaks to the world in the Washington Post in February of 2007, strangely identifying those behind it as Chinese dissidents."

    2010-12-12: Darn It! People, WAKE UP To This Wikileaks Fraud by Jeff Prager

    2010-12-13: Who is Behind Wikileaks? by Michel Chossudovsky
    "On the surface, nothing proves that Wikileaks is a CIA covert operation. However, given the corporate media's cohesive and structured relationship to US intelligence, not to mention the links of individual journalists to the military-national security establishment, the issue of a CIA sponsored PsyOp must necessarily be addressed."


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