WikiLeaks Saves Lives

" ... The whole debate has become a farce. Instead of concentrating on U.S. war crimes, the media is targeting WikiLeaks. ... Members of the mainstream media know no shame. For years they have sanitized the bodies of the dead, and now, with the disclosure of military documents that reveal the precise actions of the U.S. military on the ground in Afghanistan, they run away from the truth, and hide behind 'national security.' ... "

by Truth Excavator
Op-Ed News | July 30, 2010

On Sunday, July 25, the transnational whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks released over 90,000 classified intelligence reports from the ongoing U.S. military conflict in Afghanistan. Called the "Afghan War Diary," the reports are the biggest leak in U.S. history. They span six years, and two administrations. Although they don't include new details about America's mission in Afghanistan, there is evidence that shows criminal disregard for the Afghan people by the U.S. military, and NATO forces.

Congress railed against WikiLeaks, and its founder, Julian Assange, for overstepping the authority of the United States government by publishing the secret government documents online. Republican Mike Pence said; "The fact that thousands of classified documents were leaked in a clear violation of law is an outrage." The White House also took a harsh stance, declaring that the exposure of secret government information by WikiLeaks damages America's national security, and puts the lives of Afghan informants in critical danger. In a statement issued on Thursday, July 29, Adm. Mike Mullen said:

"Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family."

On Friday, July 30, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed the criticism of Adm. Mullen, and other White House officials, saying that WikiLeaks should be held responsible if there are deaths of Afghan informants at the hands of the Taliban in the days, and months ahead:

"The battlefield consequences are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world."

Assange defended himself against the comments made by Gates on CNN in an admirably written statement. Assange says that the U.S. government is guilty for the miles of blood that has been needlessly shed by the innocent people of Afghanistan:

"Secretary Gates could have used his time, as other nations have done, to announce a broad inquiry into these killings," the statement said. "He could have announced specific criminal investigations into the deaths we have exposed. He could have announced a panel to hear the heartfelt dissent of U.S. soldiers, who know this war from the ground. He could have apologized to the Afghani people.But he did none of these things. He decided to treat these issues and the countries affected by them with contempt. Instead of explaining how he would address these issues, he decided to announce how he would suppress them.

This behavior is unacceptable. We will not be suppressed. We will continue to expose abuses by this administration and others."

Assange has repeatedly addressed the claim by the U.S. government that Afghan informants have been put in jeopardy because of WikiLeaks. He told NBC's Today show that WikiLeaks cautiously inspected the leaked documents for the names of Afghans working with U.S. forces before publishing them, and that it has withheld 15,000 documents to review mores names of Afghans so that the Taliban, and other rebels don't gain information from the reports that they could use against Afghan informants, and their family members.

The whole debate has become a farce. Instead of concentrating on U.S. war crimes, the media is targeting WikiLeaks, and standing up for the "little guy" in this fight, the U.S. government. Members of the mainstream media know no shame. For years they have sanitized the bodies of the dead, and now, with the disclosure of military documents that reveal the precise actions of the U.S. military on the ground in Afghanistan, they run away from the truth, and hide behind "national security."  Congress railed against WikiLeaks, and its founder, Julian Assange, for overstepping the authority of the United States government by publishing the secret government documents online. Republican Mike Pence said; “The fact that thousands of classified documents were leaked in a clear violation of law is an outrage.” The White House also took a harsh stance, declaring that the exposure of secret government information by WikiLeaks damages America’s national security, and puts the lives of Afghan informants in critical danger. In a statement issued on Thursday, July 29, Adm. Mike Mullen said:

"Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family."

On Friday, July 30, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed the criticism of Adm. Mullen, and other White House officials, saying that WikiLeaks should be held responsible if there are deaths of Afghan informants at the hands of the Taliban in the days, and months ahead:

"The battlefield consequences are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world."

Assange defended himself against the comments made by Gates on CNN in an admirably written statement. Assange says that the U.S. government is guilty for the miles of blood that has been needlessly shed by the innocent people of Afghanistan:

"Secretary Gates could have used his time, as other nations have done, to announce a broad inquiry into these killings," the statement said. "He could have announced specific criminal investigations into the deaths we have exposed. He could have announced a panel to hear the heartfelt dissent of U.S. soldiers, who know this war from the ground. He could have apologized to the Afghani people.But he did none of these things. He decided to treat these issues and the countries affected by them with contempt. Instead of explaining how he would address these issues, he decided to announce how he would suppress them.

This behavior is unacceptable. We will not be suppressed. We will continue to expose abuses by this administration and others."

Assange has repeatedly addressed the claim by the U.S. government that Afghan informants have been put in jeopardy because of WikiLeaks. He told NBC's Today show that WikiLeaks cautiously inspected the leaked documents for the names of Afghans working with U.S. forces before publishing them, and that it has withheld 15,000 documents to review mores names of Afghans so that the Taliban, and other rebels don't gain information from the reports that they could use against Afghan informants, and their family members.

The whole debate has become a farce. Instead of concentrating on U.S. war crimes, the media is targeting WikiLeaks, and standing up for the "little guy" in this fight, the U.S. government. Members of the mainstream media know no shame. For years they have sanitized the bodies of the dead, and now, with the disclosure of military documents that reveal the precise actions of the U.S. military on the ground in Afghanistan, they run away from the truth, and hide behind "national security."

In an interview with Press TV, Assange said that the reports don't hold relevance for current military operations, rather, its record of U.S. military abuse in the past six years is what makes it a significant historical document, and one that many believe could be used to support war crimes charges against U.S. leaders in the future:

"Whenever we expose the abuses of an organization we always seem to distract away from the important message, which is the abuses being exposed. But in this case, all the material is at least seven months old. There is six years worth of material but it ends at the beginning of 2010. So there's nothing in there on immediate tactical significance."

Perhaps, the biggest "find" in the leaked reports is the clear evidence of Pakistani meddling in the war. Even more bizarre is the fact that Pakistani meddling is funded by the U.S. political establishment to the tune of billions of dollars a year. In a moment that has so far slipped by mainstream attention, Jon Stewart told Newsweek editor, and CNN host Fareed Zakaria that it was a revelation to him that America is essentially funding its own demise in the Middle East. He said that it is another indication that America's mission in Afghanistan is ludicrous:

"We give them billions of dollars of aid!. Pakistan is funneling that money to the Taliban? One of the chief financial contributors to our enemy is us? We have ostensibly put a hit out on ourselves. This is insanity."

The sad response by the U.S. media to the leaked documents reflects its complicit role in many of the crimes that have been committed in Afghanistan, and Iraq by the United States. Throughout the past nine years, the corporate media has silenced criticism of the war on terrorism, and channeled government propaganda about the success of US military operations into American homes. Clearly, the CIA, the national security establishment, and the corporate media are the same beast.

In March, WikiLeaks released a CIA document that focused on how to build public support in Western Europe for the Afghanistan war. Much of the recommendations were directed towards the people of Germany and France, where political opposition to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and the overall war on terrorism, has yet to be tapped by any credible political leader. From the CIA document:

"Focusing on a message that ISAF benefits Afghan civilians and citing examples of concrete gains could limit and perhaps even reverse opposition to the mission. Such tailored messages could tap into acute French concern for civilians and refugees."

Despite CIA propaganda, there are very few people in the West who still believe in the fable that the U.S. and NATO are in Afghanistan to house refugees, and clothe orphans. The political awakening of the West about the fraudulent, and criminal war on terrorism has been gradual, but it is now a reality that must be faced by Western governments. For example, no one is going to take Germany's Brigadier General Josef Blotz, who declared that WikiLeaks committed a crime, seriously. Such remarks by government authorities reveal the trap that Western governments are in. If they admit to crimes then they will be punished; if they don't admit anything, and silence everything, then their image will decline to the point where Western populations will realize how authoritarian their governments really are, and change them.

WikiLeaks could have the biggest role in the public defacement of U.S. and Western leaders who have continued to support a criminal war against the people of Afghanistan, and Iraq. Information is power, and since WikiLeaks traffics in secret information that could very well transform public opinion about any government or organization in the world, WikiLeaks has tremendous power. It has the potential to be a mighty force for good in the world if it fulfills its role as a safe vessel for hidden information. Its work could save thousands, if not millions of lives, billions of dollars, and years of wasted government resources.

With the potential to destabilize corrupt regimes, and put high-level government criminals behind bars, WikiLeaks can gain supremacy over a world of powerful secrets, and big lies. If government leaders don't police themselves, WikiLeaks will, and that type of pressure on leaders could create a world in which political reforms don't come around every century, but whenever its necessary.

In a Time magazine interview, Assange said that the work WikiLeaks has done over the last few years has resulted in the removal of the Kenyan government, and the disruption of the government of Tanzania:

Do you feel comfortable that no one's security will be threatened by the publication of this material?
We feel confident; the material is seven months old, we reviewed it extensively; we held back 15,000 documents that we felt needed further review because the type of classifications they had. We've been publishing for four years a range of material that has caused the changing of constitutions and the removal of governments but there's never been a case that we are aware of that has resulted in the personal injury of anyone.

Removal of governments?
The Kenyan government. The suspension of the prime minister of Tanzania.

Tanzania?
We published a corruption report.

WikiLeaks could be the beacon of freedom in the 21st century. It puts revelatory fire to the hidden feet of tyranny, and corruption.

Establishing free and open governments by promoting the free access of all information is the most important legacy of the Internet. That is why all governments fear the Internet. Professor Peter Dale Scott says "Internet politics" will transform public debate, and influence public elections around the world. And it already has, in America, and elsewhere.

Kenya's government has already seen the overwhelming public power of the Internet, and its beautiful child, WikiLeaks. Could WikiLeaks also help remove the U.S. secret government from power? The answer is yes.

America is not Kenya, of course, it is a highly advanced deep state, but information is power everywhere around the world, and if a few high-level Whistleblowers in the U.S. government inform WikiLeaks of explosive information that could seriously damage the image of current U.S. political leaders, and government policies, then watch out. A revolution could happen overnight. And governments don't have a fighting chance to restricting the internet because people have tasted the freedoms of the Internet, and the transformative knowledge it supplies, and they can't live without it. It is truly a new age of democratic openness. We are seeing the extinction of government lies, and government cover-ups. Power can't do anything it wants any longer. It must subject itself to the rule of law.

Speaking about the failings of the old, corrupt, and dying media to Press TV, Assange said:

"It seems to be that they're too close to the existing power structures of their country . . . As a sort of transnational organization, with people in many different countries, we're [WikiLeaks] able to step above that."

Thanks to WikiLeaks, the 21st century's gatecrashers, the 20th century's gatekeepers are obsolete. Bye bye cowardly New York Times. Bye bye cowardly CNN. Bye bye old media. You don't matter anymore. We don't need your kind. You lied, and lied, and because of your lies, people died, and died. We've seen, and heard enough bullshit from you. And we're tired of it. So goodbye Cowards! Liars! Filth!

http://www.opednews.com/Diary/WikiLeaks-Saves-Lives-by-Truth-Excavator-100730-654.html