Only rarely I forward intact a message from another site, usually this one, the Institute for Public Accuracy (which incidentally really needs a correlate in OZ). A big tip of the hat to Australian Julian Assange and his team at Wikileaks.
Although I laugh heartily at Stephen Colbert, he is often the best comentary available on US televison. It’s not just Robert McChesney who are concerned about media freedom and democracy. Is Julian just a clever Aussie larrikin or a crack in the armour of the corporate media’s dance with the devils of silence and public impotence? Don’t hold your breath to see him interviewed on Fox.
Here it is, complete with links:
Rowley, McGovern and Ellsberg — Statement on Wikileaks
The British Guardian reports: “The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says it plans to
release a secret military video of one of the deadliest U.S. air strikes in
Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed.”
In April, Wikileaks — http://wikileaks.org — released the “Collateral Murder”
video showing U.S. soldiers in Iraq killing civilians including a Reuters
photographer and then shooting at people, including children, in a van attempting to
rescue the wounded. http://www.collateralmurder.com
The following statement was released today by Coleen Rowley, an FBI whistleblower
who was one of Time Magazine’s people of the year in 2002; Ray McGovern, CIA analyst for 27 years; and Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers (top-secret
government documents that showed a pattern of governmental deceit about the Vietnam War):
“Today, Washington is trying to shut down what it clearly regards as the most
effective and dangerous purveyor of embarrassing information — Wikileaks, a
self-styled global resource for whistleblowers. It is a safe bet that NSA, CIA, FBI
and other agencies have been instructed to do all possible to make an example of
Wikileaks leader, Australian-born Julian Assange, and his colleagues. Much is at
stake — for both Pentagon and freedom of the press.
“Those who own and operate the corporate media face a distasteful dilemma, both in
terms of business decision and of conscience. They must choose between the easier
but soulless task of transcribing government press releases, on the one hand; or, on
the other, following Wikileaks into the 21st century by adapting high-tech methods
to protect sources while acquiring authentic stories unadulterated by government
pressure, real or perceived.
“Deference to the government seems largely responsible for the failure to explore
the implications of particularly riveting reportage that gets millions of hits on
the Web but has been, up to now, largely ignored by mainstream media. The best
recent example of this is the gun-barrel video showing a merciless turkey-shoot of
Baghdad civilians by helicopter gunship-borne U.S. soldiers on July 12, 2007. Like
the humiliating and graphic but actual photos of Abu Ghraib, the publication of
which Pullitzer-prize winning Seymour Hersh repeatedly defended as necessary to the
story of Iraqi prisoner abuse, such raw footage is essential to people’s
understanding of what is happening. Like Daniel Ellsberg’s copying of 7,000 pages of
the ‘Pentagon Papers,’ such whistleblowers are a great means of exposing the lies
upon which the current wars are based.
“Assange went public this week with an email announcement that Wikileaks is
preparing to release a classified Pentagon video of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan
in May 2009, which left as many as 140 civilians dead — most of them children and
teenagers. He added that Wikileaks has ‘a lot of other material that exposes human
rights abuses by the United States government.’
“Wikileaks has also published a secret U.S. Army report of March 2008 evaluating the
threat from Wikileaks itself and possible U.S. countermeasures against it. This will
undoubtedly prompt American officials to redouble efforts to find Assange and to
prevent Wikileaks from posting additional information they have classified to avoid
“Americans have a right to know what is being done in our name, and how important it
is to protect members of the now-fledgling Fifth Estate so that it can continue to
provide information shunned or distorted.
“Assange ended his email with an unabashed appeal for donations for his website.
‘Please donate … and encourage all your friends to follow the example you set;
after all, courage is contagious.’ His words sounded a bit like those of Edmund
Burke: ‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by
one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.’
“For the good to associate effectively, they need to know what is going on. It’s our
hope the old Fourth Estate press will recall the good and high-calling that Burke,
Jefferson and other leaders of democracy have extolled through the centuries and
catch some of that ‘contagious courage’.”
See on http://www.ellsberg.net: “Daniel Ellsberg Fears WikiLeaks Founder Julian
Assange’s Life In Danger”; (on MSNBC)
http://www.ellsberg.net/archive/daniel-ellsberg-fears-assanges-in-danger and today
on Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/6/17/wikileaks_whistleblowers .
Available for interviews:
RAY McGOVERN, firstname.lastname@example.org
McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years.
COLEEN ROWLEY, email@example.com
Rowley, an FBI whistleblower, was named one of Time Magazine’s people of the
year in 2002. She recently co-wrote the piece “Wikileak Case Echoes Pentagon
Wired reports: “An Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking classified
information to Wikileaks has still not been charged with any crime, three weeks
after being arrested and put in pre-trial confinement.
“PFC Bradley Manning, 22, is being held at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and has been
assigned a military defense attorney while the Army and State Department investigate
claims Manning made to an ex-hacker in online chats that he disclosed classified
The New York Times reports today: “Iceland’s Parliament, the Althing, voted
unanimously in favor of a package of legislation aimed at making the country a haven
for freedom of expression by offering legal protection to whistle-blower Web sites
like WikiLeaks, which helped to craft the proposal.”
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167