Again, I find myself in conflict with mainstream media and the way they portray news. I am sure someone is paying them en-mass to distort & spin stuff to achieve something, I am sure. In the past, meaning a mere 10 years ago, this would not have been possible. They tell us & we have to believe what they tell us. Because none of us had any other forms of cross examining the news itself. But that is no longer the case. Internet has effectively destroyed this premise. Of course I still watch BBC News most nights. But, a pinch of salt is always sprinkled.
The current example is the Wikileaks saga. This is an internet site dedicated to accurate reporting on certain issues such as corporate crime & practices, International invasions of other territories & such. The founder is a geeky looking chap, Julian Assange. A young bloke who seems to enjoy rocking the boat & challenging the established media for their utter & entirely contemptible approach to reporting untruths. Day in, day out. He set up this website of his & enabled various people to have a triple secure disclosure of files. No photocopies, letters or interviews. Any time, anywhere & anyone. They get the files, they check it out & then if it is worth publishing then they publish.
Without this we would never have known that American Helicopters go around shooting down Iraqis on their own pavements. Essentially a video footage showing a U.S. helicopter gunship in Baghdad which killed 2 journalists & a civilian from the heavens. This became known as The Collateral Murder Footage. See for yourself on collateralmurder.com. The guy responsible for this leak is now behind bars in Kuwait, Note: not The United States, but a friendly Gulf Nation to lock up a US soldier. Of course the young man is now facing a 52 year jail term. But the media concentrates on him being a hot headed & fiery loner who is a homosexual. Not a regular red blooded American soldier who is cool, calm & collected who prefers pussy.
The other main leak detailed torture & rendition of various individuals involved in the mess that is Iraq & Afghanistan. This is when they snatch someone in Peckham & the geezer ends up in Aberdeen. In this case, snatch them in Yemen and send them to Sweden for a while then export out to Cairo and eventually Guantanamo. Get tortured, water-boarded, and what not to extract information from the bad guys. Ex-president Bush recently confirmed that he did not consider water boarding as a form of torture, contrary to UN and other international organisations definitions of torture. Basically if you are made to feel that you are drowning & terrorised within inches of your life, it does not constitute torture. Of course our governments have to do all this in our name. It is for our security. Apparently.
The next set of significant leaks have become known as Cable Gate. This is a staggering 250,000 embassy cables, emails mainly, going backward & forward within the internal embassy & foreign office circles. We would also not have known about King Idiot Brut-Al-Mad of Saudi Arabia urging the United States to attack Iran. Nor would we have known about President Karzai’s (Afghanistan) views on how ineffective the British have been in defending his country. I suppose he is referring to more dead British Soldiers here. Clearly needed more deaths. My question to President Karzai is why don’t you get off your back side and get your people to represent & act & defend for themselves, since we are so rubbish at helping you protect your land? The answer I expect would be a lame one, like we do not have the funding to do the job or similar rubbish.
The lists are long and I am certainly not enormous. I deliberately do not want to dwell over the details of each outrageous and embarrassing disclosure. But more the core & fundamental questions. Do we as citizens of this planet have an innate right to any of the following
a) Freedom of speech
b) Freedom of information
c) Freedom of thought
d) Freedom of movement
I am one of those people who believes that we do have these rights. In fact it was Cyrus The Great, the funky King of Persia 2550 years ago, who declared these rights. You can get down to the British Museum and see it on a mud cylinder and read it for your self. It is of course in cuneiform.
So what about Julian Assange? What do we do with this irritating man, from down under, who resides in Sweden? What we have done, with the spin-doctors of each government department, is to smear this guy and try to gag him at each and every step. He did not go to the source and do a James Bond stunt to steal the information. People send him this stuff. He simply puts it out there for the rest of us to access. Then the next question is should I as a citizen know this information.
Do I really need to know what our government is doing on our behalf? I am afraid the answer has to be a resounding yes. It is called democracy. Unfortunately, the powers that be prefer selective democracy. We tell you what we want to tell you.
Half the German people did not really know what Hitler was up to. Same for Joseph Stalin, Khomeini and probably that silly King Idiot Brut-Al-Mad of Saudi. Us not knowing serves a great purpose. In fact the whole issue of differences between your Average European & your average American is exactly this. They actually believe CNN & FOX News to be telling them the truth. Europeans, because of the longer history tend to check stuff out in other ways and quiz their peers. The moment the news breaks out which is putting the established networks of media & governments who have a history of bull shit, we are told aah-ha, Mr Assange is now arrested for suspicion of sexual assault & rape in Sweden. This is the headline. Then you read the details, it turns out the sexual assault is that he did not use a condom when he was in bed with some girl in Sweden some months ago. As for the rape allegation, that refers to him having sex with another woman, many months ago, whilst she was asleep. See? This guys is not a good guy. He is a bad guy.
The soldier who leaked the Collateral murder video is a lonely hot headed nutty homosexual. Another bad guy. Paypal and Visa are good guys for not allowing any donations to go to this chap, whilst KKK & Neo Fascists, paedophiles are all OK to do business with. The sheer hypocrisy is not sickening but hilarious. So the moment some awkward news comes our way we have to expect a bad guy within that story to bury the story by discrediting it as much as possible. For my money, Wikileaks can leak and drip all over them. I am capable of making up my own mind of what is the truth & what is manufactured. If I can, then you can too. It is the contempt and assumption that the whole population is stupid that really gets to me not the half-arsed attempt of the cover up. People have said and will continue to say what they want, irrespective of what any one likes or dislikes. If it is the truth it will have the integrity it deserves and if not, then we stop taking notice of the messenger, Assange today, Lossange tomorrow. Don’t believe the hype.