Saturday, July 31, 2010

DTN News: Wiki Wiki Leaks - Media Conduct Questionable In WikiLeaks Affair

Defense News: DTN News: Wiki Wiki Leaks - Media Conduct Questionable In WikiLeaks Affair
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources & report / story by Bogdan Kipling is a Canadian journalist in Washington - The Chronicle (
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 31, 2010: If the world were saner, we would know better than to get excited over any orchestrated leak of dark secrets. We would discount Washington’s cathouse promiscuity with the "Top Secret" stamp and mutter something about patients running the insane asylum on reading the Afghanistan papers story the New York Times, the Guardian in London, or Der Spiegel in Germany published last Sunday.
The troika disclosed nothing new about the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgents and Pakistan’s alleged double-dealing.
In that sense, the hot papers are like the CIA microfiche I bought at a National Press Club documents sale some yeas ago. It was an "eyes only" report informing President Eisenhower that George Diefenbaker had won the 1958 election, including the source of the information: "Canadian Press and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation."
Nothing quite so funny and so revealing has come over my transom since then — and that is a pity. Whipping up such froth is fun, and readers love it.
The Afghanistan papers story may be hollow but it is not funny. It raises questions about journalism and concerted political action and which is which. If it is the latter, why not declare it? But if newspapering is still the game, what happened to the abhorrence of being sued?
What I see here is a joke on the news side and severe damage to confidence on the part of America’s allies. Why should Canada’s secret service trust American services to keep shared secrets? And what’s true for Canada is true for all America’s allies in the world.
Why have three serious news organizations decided to lend their simultaneous media power to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks blog? Mr. Assange is a self-described "madman of hacking." If this is a certificate of maturity, then there is no such thing as recklessness with access where life-and-death decisions are made.
Disapproving or approving of a war is everybody’s right in a free society. But it gives pause that these eminent news organizations agreed to sit on the information — such as it is — until a chap much given to self-promotion was ready to set off his big bang.
Mr. Assange says Americans and all their foreign allies must get out of Afghanistan. Many Americans agree with him — and so do Canadians, Britons, Germans, Poles and others in the vast military alliance fighting al Qaida and the Taliban.
That people in Afghanistan and Pakistan want to see the end of the war is so obvious it is embarrassing to mention it. They are at the receiving end of missiles, bombs, grenades and bullets. They want the shooting to be somewhere else even when they see the war as their own liberation.
Mr. Assange would talk to the Taliban to end the war. He sees the Americans as aggressors and condemns their killing of civilians. He is less outspoken about the murders of innocent people that the Taliban al Qaida commit, but then, the activist crowd regularly hates only one villain.
Seeing as I am talking about a mad world where anything can happen, maybe Mr. Assange is promoting peace with the Taliban for Big Gas and its pipelines.
Ahmed Rashid’s definitive book "Taliban — Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia," put the seed of this idea in my head. The author says his book "has been 21 years in the writing — about as long as I have covered Afghanistan as a reporter."
Washington, he writes, has "strongly backed" Unocal, an American energy company, "to build a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan across Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
He says when the Taliban captured Kabul in September 1996, Unocal executive Chris Taggert "told wire agencies that the pipeline project would be easier to implement" now that the Taliban are in the saddle.
Mr. Rashid reminds us that the State Department announced "within hours" of Kabul’s capture by the Taliban, that the United States would establish diplomatic relations with the new rulers.
Their crimes against Afghan women caused some delays, but diplomacy had to move on — and it did. The Taliban foreign minister talked pipelines in the State Department while President Clinton pounded Osama bin Laden’s camps in his country.
In a mad world, it is easy to imagine that Mr. Assange works for Big Gas and its pipelines and coddles the Taliban as the chaps you can do business with.
*This article "Media Conduct Questionable In WikiLeaks Affair - The Chronicle " & link to read in originality here.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:

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