Sunday, 22 August 2010

John Pilger warned that Julian Assange and Wikileaks would be smeared

There's a very good John Pilger article in this week's New Statesman, praising Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Pilger perceptively, perhaps even presciently, noted the US authorities' determination to discredit Assange:

'There is understandably hysteria on high, with demands that the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, be "hunted down" and "rendered".

In Washington, I interviewed a senior official in the defence department and asked: "Can you give a guarantee that the editors of WikiLeaks and the editor-in-chief, who is not American, will not be subjected to the kind of manhunt that we read about in the media?" He replied: "It's not my position to give guarantees on anything."
He referred me to the "ongoing criminal investigation" of a US soldier, Bradley Manning, an alleged whistleblower. In a nation that claims its constitution protects truth-tellers, the Obama administration is pursuing and prosecuting more whistleblowers than any of its modern predecessors.

A Pentagon document states bluntly that US intelligence intends to "fatally marginalise" WikiLeaks. The preferred tactic is smear, with corporate journalists ever ready to play their part.'

Pilger also comments on broader issues around the political role of journalism:

'The WikiLeaks revelations shame the dominant section of journalism, devoted merely to taking down what cynical and malign power tells it. This is state stenography, not journalism.

Look on the WikiLeaks site and read a Ministry of Defence document that describes the "threat" of real journalism. And so it should be a threat. Having skilfully published the WikiLeaks exposé of a fraudulent war, the Guardian should now give its most powerful and unreserved editorial support to the protection of Assange and his colleagues, whose truth-telling is as important as any in my lifetime.'


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