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Greenwald on Wikileaks and U.S. Media

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Within the past hour, Julian Assange was granted bail in a British court and will be able to fight extradition to Sweden from outside a jail cell. I’ve been following the Wikileaks developments with much interest but have refrained from commenting here b because I haven’t done the leg work of reading the released material or researching the legal issues around any possible U.S. prosecution of Assange.

Somebody who has done all that hard research is Glenn Greenwald. He has followed very closely both Wikileaks activities, the U.S. government’s response and the media reaction to the leaks and to Assange himself. In the process Greenwald seems to have discovered a corporate media blind spot. It seems that media organizations are giving citizens the idea that Wikileaks has released many more documents than they really have. Greenwald has communicated with Time magazine over this matter, with limited success:

What was vital here was to have Time state clearly that the claim of “indiscriminate” dumping of cables is factually false — not merely that Assange disputes it. That could then be used to quash this lie each time it appears in other venues. Of course, all of that fell on deaf ears, because my demand required that Time do exactly that which establishment media outlets, by definition, will rarely do: state clearly when the facts contradict — negate — claims by those in political power, especially when the target of the false claims is a demonized outsider-of-Washington faction like WikiLeaks.

Of course, Time’s behavior and that of the rest of the corporate media in this regard is explainable if one considers the role of said corporate media to be not to inform but rather to guide the thinking of the public by making it more difficult for real information to be widely distributed. Kind of like Pravda in the Soviet Union.

I encourage anyone who stumbles on this to visit Greenwald’s corner at Salon and see what he has to say about Wikileaks, Julian Assange and the DOJ.

Others are on the case as well, of course, like Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars, who wonders why, if Julian Assange is such a terrible person, Bob Woodward is allowed to run around loose.

There’s been a lot of talk about how WikiLeaks is terrible, how the information released is damaging to national interests and/or security, how Julian Assange should be treated as a terrorist/enemy combatant/spy (pick your hyperbole), US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad points out that far more damaging information was given by someone with a much higher clearance to Bob Woodward, and no one started screaming that Bob Woodward should be prosecuted–or worse, executed.

I may agree on very little with Ron Paul and on even less with his son but props to Congressman Paul for his defense of Wikileaks.

Written by slothropia

December 14th, 2010 at 11:18 am