Propaganda is Poisoning the WikiLeaks Story

Julian Assange is getting far too much attention for who he is, rather than the role he played in exposing communications which anger some the most powerful people in the world.

MacLean’s Magazine, a leading publication in Canada illustrates this fascination with wrong information about WikiLeaks with these words on the front page of their December 27 2010 print edition.

The Man Who Exposed the World.
The strange personal story of WikiLeaks Julian Assange.

In a caption under his picture, we read,

“Assange calls himself the ‘editor-in-chief’ of WikiLeaks, and says his group has created ‘scientific’ journalism…”

which is a very different message from,

“Julian Assange, the Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, a group which holds that they are promoting “scientific journalism”.

By casting Julian Assange in a negative light in their cover story, the “spin” which MacLean’s deploys is subtle but nevertheless propaganda, “a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position”.

The mainstream media has chosen to focus on a man rather than the messages between and among the powerful, and what governments are doing to suppress the information which has been provided by “whistle-blowers” in the US and other governments.

It would be far more interesting and useful for people to see the mainstream media to focus on topics that really matter, such as:

  • A content analysis of the diplomatic cables which, among other things, show evidence that the United States uses its embassies for spying on foreign governments.
  • Opinions from legal experts about whether the actions of the WikiLeaks organization constitutes crime, or the legal status of actions by those who have provided information to WikiLeaks.
  • Opinions from legal experts as to whether the information released by WikiLeaks implicates highly placed state agents in criminal activity, including human rights violations and war crimes.

As long as the mainstream media embraces the “cult of the individual”, the public will not be informed about the more critically important issues of state power, crime and criminality.


Mass Murderer Apologizes for Slaughter

It’s been a long time coming, but the US Marine officer who oversaw the slaughter of more than 500 women, elderly men and children has finally taken responsibility, more than 40 years after his crimes.

It was March 16, 1968 in South Vietnam when Charlie Company, battered from fighting the Viet Cong, entered the hamlet of My Lai. Lt. William L. Calley directed the young soldiers to kill everyone in sight. Later he claimed to be "following orders", echoing the defense of Nuremberg defendants. Now he acknowledges that his orders were illegal and should have been disobeyed. Interestingly, Capitan Ernest Medina, who allegedly ordered the "search and destroy" mission, was acquitted in a 1971 court-martial. Calley may have been the "fall guy" for a series of orders through the chain of command that were ambiguous enough to support mass killing.

Here’s the contradiction. The USA is now in a collective flap because the perpetrator of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which killed 270 people has been allowed to leave jail and return to his home in Libya to die from terminal cancer.

Remember My Lai? When foreigners kill, it’s terrorism. When Americans do it, it’s punishable by three years of house arrest.