The Real Wiki Hero

Greg Palast

by Marta Steele from OpEdNews
with a Surprise P.S. from Greg Palast

Bradley Manning

Is it not ironic that the same country that contributed Rupert Murdoch to the world has more recently donated Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks since 2007, when it was founded to “report on and publish important information,” on a totally voluntary and nonprofit basis. It describes its work as “[p]ublish[ing] and comment[ing] on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.”

The group consists of accredited journalists, software programmers, network engineers, mathematicians, and others. Citing as its authority the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that everyone has the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

At the top of its webpage Wikileaks.org, the whistleblower webpage quotes Time magazine’s kudos: “Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.”

Previously a physics and mathematics student, hacker, and computer programmer, Assange, now a star on the startled and totally bewildered and hostile world stage, has become, according to Wikipedia, an “Australian journalist, publisher, and Internet activist.”

His “whisteblower website” first attracted public attention by publishing classified material generated by U.S. intelligence on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Most recently, on November 28, having captured a google [251, 287 cables, according to Wiki] of intelligence related to international diplomacy, he has, more effectively than the recently introduced, highly unpopular “naked scanning” devices spreading throughout U.S. airports, stripped raw the hypocrisy of international politics emanating from our country.

Several Arab nations are encouraging the United States to attack Iran, for example–against the wishes of their people, according to a recent poll, only 10 percent of whom regard Iran as a threat.

As a whole, “Cablegate” will reveal “the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN,” writes Wiki. “The cables cover from 28th December 1966 to 28th February 2010 and originate from 274 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions.”

This announcement is followed by a plea to the public to release any other key and strategic information we may come upon that may further “truth in journalism” rather than PR and infotainment. At least the press has gotten onto this and informed us of the new truth machine.

Citing as its precedent Daniel Ellsberg, former federal employee turned journalist, unveiler of the notorious Pentagon Papers, WikiLeaks has other heroic predecessors, including a man called “this country’s finest investigative reporter,” the award-winning and notorious Greg Palast (see his take on this debacle below), best known for revealing to the world the extent of another cover-up, the true winner of presidential Election 2000, Democratic candidate Al Gore. The early-December 2000 exposée by Salon.com was published well before the heinous U.S. Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision that went against every principle held sacred by honest patriots (how few we seem these days).

Thanks to WikiLeaks, we the people have many more leaks to anticipate just in time for the holidays.

Are we witnessing the birth of a new Messiah? The return of Jesus Christ? Not according to Sarah Palin, viciously and outspokenly opposed to this new wave of truth assaulting

the establishment like, again, those full-body scanners/pat downs waiting to ruin the travels of many a holiday plane trip.

Strange fate indeed that Palin unwittingly sides with the Swedish [socialist] government and that the White House, which a few days ago issued its own public censure of this latest revelation, agrees with the outspoken “demagogue” Joe Lieberman.

National Brotherhood Week? (pace Tom Lehrer of 1960s fame)

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But the real substance of this entry is not WikiLeaks nor Julian Assange, whose death many predict, targeted at least once by the FBI, according to one report.

My real focus is how this assault on opacity will ultimately influence the polluted earth that holds it up, to her own sorrowful detriment (literally).

What will happen if the transparency promised by our president becomes a reality? Suppose that, instead of white-collar prisons being the extreme penalty for treason at every level from local to worldwide, whistleblowing moves it over? Suppose, since every other recourse has left our realm of possibilities, honesty is forced upon us?

In my opinion, killing Assange or even his entire vanguard is no longer an option. The seed was planted who knows when—Ananias and his wife?–and the outcome is too well rooted.

Think for a moment of the host of premises upon which our lifestyle and mores are based. How many will be overturned? Assumptions are the ground we stand on. Imagine this upending of reality. Will we survive and thrive?

And have we stumbled upon the cure–one most of us considered utterly elusive–the upending of terrorism when WikiLeaks’ focus

broadens? Maybe we’ll no longer need the full-body scanners. I had even decided the CIA was our best bet, fighting fire with fire, setting up cells where terrorist cells were found.

And beyond that, or parallel with it, will WikiLeaks find a way to level out our top-heavy economy, redistributing the bank accounts of the top one percent so that the wealthiest super power in the world doesn’t also end up vying with developing countries for percentage of destitution?

So much of the world’s worth is distributed dishonestly.

Can WikiLeaks save the world or at least lead the endeavor? Can our genius be diverted from government wiretapping to wiretapping government?

Stay tuned. Many problems will be solved, many faces turned red in this process, red enough to drop dead as earth crumbles beneath.

Of course, world powers are forgiving each other at this point. They all have agendas that diverge from the pleasantries they exchange in front of tv cameras.

What will happen to politics when everyone in Congress agrees on

something important?

Suddenly I look forward to the future and these most interesting times. Maybe we have more than a Chinese curse on the horizon (that is, the wish that one “may live in interesting times,” such times usually translated into fodder for many a writer–in two words, hard times.)

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This just in from the honest patriot Greg Palast, a friend of many years:

“Do you remember the reporter who put his by-line on the Pentagon Papers story? Of course not, he didn’t risk a thing. Julian Assange didn’t risk a thing either – except excess TV exposure and an excess of blonde groupies. The hero of the Wikileaks/Guardian/Times/Spiegel exposure is Pvt. Bradley Manning.

“NO ONE gives a sh*t about this heroic man who is rotting in Obama’s prison cell. Not Assange (who did nothing to protect him, and does nothing now), nor the Left happy to use his information nor the New York Times which is happy to take the bows for material Manning risked his freedom for.

“Assange is like all publishers except that he erases the names of the ‘author’ from the books. He will join his fellows in that ring of Hell devoted to those who wear the mantle of courage stolen from others.

“I salute Pvt. Manning. It is Manning, not Assange, who will save this world.”

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A jack of some trades, writing and editing among them, Marta Steele, an admitted and proud holdover from the late sixties, returned to activism ten years ago after first establishing her skills as a college [mostly adjunct] professor in three (more…)

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Greg Palast’s reports for BBC-TV’s Newsnight can be seen at http://www.GregPalast.com.

A note:  If you have a document marked “confidential” or “eyes only,” go to GregPalast.com and “contact Greg.”  Honestly, there is no perfect protection for whistleblowers, but it won’t be me who will give you away.  No matter what.

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