Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some second thoughts about the Af-Pak Wikileaks

Julian Assange
From The Weekly Standard: One of the more interesting aspects of the WikiLeaks document dump is the persistence of intelligence reports indicating collusion between al Qaeda, al Qaeda-affiliated parties, and Iran. By itself, this should not be surprising. The 9/11 Commission, Clinton-era federal prosecutors, and many others have found evidence of such cooperation. Still, it is widely assumed that such an alliance is impossible due to theological differences between Sunni al Qaeda and the Shiite mullahs. The WikiLeaks documents demonstrate, once again, that the world does not abide by armchair assumptions. Our terrorist enemies are not mindless automatons. When it comes to confronting their common enemies, collusion is the order of the day.

"Think the worst and you'll be right" Spanish proverb
David Seaton's News Links
To start off with I love the idea of WikiLeaks: the dirty linen of the powerful on public view... irresistible. I was very impressed by the video of the murder of the Reuters journalists in Baghdad and I was eagerly waiting during the countdown for the 300,000 secret items that WikiLeaks handed over to the New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel, which have been compared to Daniel Ellsberg's "Pentagon Papers" and initially I was very impressed by the breadth and depth of "linen" now on display. Certainly the futility of war  in Afghanistan was on full view for the world to see.

I began to have second thoughts on the flimsiest of motives: I was repelled by Julian Assange's face when I first saw it: the eyes, the mouth. I immediately thought, "wow, this guy sure could make a good  living playing petty thieves or perverts in police procedural films with a face like that". I looked him up in Wikipedia and saw that he had a pretty funky childhood and youth, more like Colton Harris-Moore the barefoot-bandit's than Daniel Ellsberg's but with the difference that I kind of like the barefoot-bandit's face. But hey, I thought, he who is without strange parents, let him cast the first stone. Live and let live.

However, you could say that my antenna were up and quivering already when I read the first items of the leaks that pointed to a connection between Al Qaeda and Iran. I thought, uh-oh, that sounds familiar, that is the same rap the neocons tried to hang on Saddam Hussein in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and there are still quite a few Americans who think that Saddam was involved in 9-11.  As it so happens that at this very moment the Israel lobby and the usual suspects are busy baying at the moon trying to drum up support for an attack on Iran -- as they always have been, "real men go to Tehran" --  isn't it convenient that this damning bit of evidence connecting Ahmadinejad with Osama bin Laden comes wrapped up conveniently in the most impeccably progressive of packages and just when America's politicians are looking for campaign donations?

Well, you might ask, doesn't this massive leakage damage the war effort in Afghanistan, and I would ask in return, when did the neocons ever give diddly squat about the war in Afghanistan, which they have always considered a distraction from more important affairs, like trashing Iraq and Iran? I mean, after all, what threat does Afghanistan pose to Israel?

So, could this enormous flood of leaks from WikiLeaks about the war in Afghanistan in reality be protective covering for a massive misinformation operation, one which kills two birds with one stone: weakens the distracting Af-Pak war effort and provides some sort of personal reason for Americans to want to attack Iran? Certainly, when I read the article in the neocon bible, Rupert Murdoch's, "The Weekly Standard", which I quote above, I began to get that old feeling: been there, done that, here we go again.

So I would say, whoa there, lets stop and go though all of this with a fine tooth comb and see where they want to take us with all of this: because I would agree with President Obama, when he says that Afghanistan is the "good war", in the sense that it is "good", if it keeps us too busy there to get into even worse trouble elsewhere... Kind of like methadone for American militarism. DS


Anonymous said...

Interesting point. But I don't think I'd be too quick to blame Assange. The acknowledged original source was the military files that SPC Manning downloaded. I admit that I haven't taken the time to read the voluminous docs, but couldn't the source have been corrupted by military persons with an agenda. For instance, analysts or officers speculating on incoming and/or incomplete data. Or, Manning could have been selective in choosing the data. In fact, Manning could have been in on it or a dupe. But then, Assange also, could have 'edited' more than just the names of the afflicted.

As we know from the past, politicians can cherry-pick information from a document without regard to the document as a whole and the public will never believe the truth even when confronted with it. Just look at what has been done with the Constitution.


David Seaton's Newslinks said...

If my hypothesis is correct, Assange has been duped. They dumped a mass of data with their truffle in it, and he put it on the net.

Anonymous said...

Your hypothesis is sounding more logical every day. There was apparently an interview with Assange and Tony Jones of the BBC wherein Assange admits his group had only read about 15% of the documents he released. He claims to also have given the US the chance to review the docs to delete any sources, which offer was refused. Curioser and curioser. I heard the interview read on radio but was unable to find the transcript online.

opit said...

A 'Poison Pill' for WikiLeaks ? That's an interesting idea.
When you say retargeting the activity of the US/NATO killing machine to Afghanistan is the 'Good War', though, you are falling for an absolute load of bull yourself.
Dec 20 2009 at in the Afghanistan,etc. post has become somewhat overrun by events...but it reflected what were my ideas at the time.
If anyone realized that Afghanistan was not geographically suited to being a European style country in the first place because of surreal diversity in culture,language, etc. - a result of poverty and of the difficulty traversing the place - the knowledge that the Brits' Durand Line was maliciously sited to harass the Pashtun might help. It was a nefarious creation as to separate native nomadic herdsmens' winter and summer pastures.
Just Search 'Pakistan starvation' and you will soon see the 'troops' are being sent on a Fool's Errand that destroys a conventional military machine. Sand and mountains and guerilla fighters are an ideal melieu to waste time and money far from nosy reporting : ideal for the corruption of the drug trade and to regulate the market.
Take your sights over to the likes of PakAlert instead of the docile 'reporting' of the fictitious 'Afghanistan' where you know all about the heroic troops ... and nothing about the locals ...and a much different picture appears than that which proliferates among the brainwashed.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

I don't think the war in Afghanistan is "good", only better that it hopefully keeps the USA too busy to go to war with Iran, which is a very serious place and not a Kipling-esque medieval theme park.