Beware False Prophets


Julian Assange at New Media Days 09 in Copenhagen.

Image via Wikipedia

Wikileaks and Julian Assange have generated a media frenzy with its release of secret documents which detail the machinations of countries, diplomacy and war and in the process angered a lot of people, especially those here in the US.  What isn’t so well known is how easily Wikileaks and Assange himself have been co-opted by the government of Israel.  Take a look.

A number of commentators, particularly in Turkey and Russia, have been wondering why the hundreds of thousands of American classified documents leaked by the website last month did not contain anything that may embarrass the Israeli government, like just about every other state referred to in the documents. The answer appears to be a secret deal struck between the WikiLeaks “heart and soul”, as Assange humbly described himself once [1], with Israeli officials, which ensured that all such documents were ‘removed’ before the rest were made public.

According to an Arabic investigative journalism website [2], Assange had received money from semi-official Israeli sources and promised them, in a “secret, video-recorded agreement,” not to publish any document that may harm Israeli security or diplomatic interests.

The sources of the Al-Haqiqa report are said to be former WikiLeaks volunteers who have left the organisation in the last few months over Assange’s “autocratic leadership” and “lack of transparency.”

In a recent interview with the German daily Die Tageszeitung, former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg said he and other WikiLeaks dissidents are planning to launch their own whistleblowers’ platform to fulfil WikiLeaks’s original aim of “limitless file sharing.” [3]

Mr Domscheit-Berg, who is about to publish a book about his days ‘Inside WikiLeaks’, accuses Assange of acting as a “king” against the will of others in the organisation by “making deals” with media organisations that are meant to create an explosive effect, which others in WikiLeaks either know little or nothing about. [4]

Furthermore, Assange’s eagerness for headline-grabbing scoops meant that WikiLeaks had not been able to ‘restructure’ itself to cope with this surge of interest, insiders add. This has meant that smaller leaks, which might be of interest to people at a local level, are now being overlooked for the sake of big stories. [5]

According to the Al-Haqiqa sources, Assange met with Israeli officials in Geneva earlier this year and struck the secret deal. The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively. These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, where removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents, the sources added.

Indeed, the published documents seem to have a ‘gap’ stretching over the period of July – September 2006, during which the 33-day Lebanon war took place. Is it possible that US diplomats and officials did not have any comments or information to exchange about this crucial event but spent their time ‘gossiping’ about every other ‘trivial’ Middle-Eastern matter?

Following the leak (and even before), Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference that Israel had “worked in advance” to limit any damage from leaks, adding that “no classified Israeli material was exposed by WikiLeaks.” [6] In an interview with the Time magazine around the same time, Assange praised Netanyahu as a hero of transparency and openness! [7]

According to another report [8], a left-leaning Lebanese newspaper had met with Assange twice and tried to negotiate a deal with him, offering “a big amount of money”, in order to get hold of documents concerning the 2006 war, particularly the minutes of a meeting held at the American embassy in Beirut on 24th July 2006, which is widely considered as a ‘war council’ meeting between American, Israeli and Lebanese parties that played a role in the war again Hizbullah and its allies. The documents the Al-Akhbar editors received, however, all date to 2008 onwards and do not contain “anything of value,” the sources confirm. This only goes to support the Israel deal allegations.

Finally, it might be worth pointing out that Assange might have done what he is alleged to have done in order protect himself and ensure that the leaked documents are published so as to expose the American hypocrisy, which he is said to be obsessed with “at the expense of more fundamental aims.”

This is how it’s done


The western world, particularly America, keeps getting upstaged by these developing countries that are showing the international community how to behave on a global level.  First there was the murder of a Palestinian activist in Dubai, and the UAE’s meticulous handling of that murder investigation which was so spot on it penetrated the invicibility of the lawless and dreaded Mossad, led to the arrest of one person in Poland, the expulsion by Ireland of an Israeli diplomat, the unraveling of the purse strings behind Mossad operations, which sadly America has declined to follow up on and earned Dubai/UAE the respect of the international community.

Brazil and Turkey both brokered a deal with Iran, a deal the US was in favor of until the Israeli interests in the US government decided to go on with their stated program of regime change for Iran and implemented sanctions at the UN level.  What’s significant about the deal is it’s what America said would be necessary to avoid sanctions, but no one stepped up to the plate to forge it until Turkey and Brazil did which brought down upon them the wrath and scorn of the western world and Israel.

That leads us to the latest diplomatic coup and that is Turkey’s announcement they are freezing ties with Israel unless Israel agrees to an international investigation into the murder of at least 9 people aboard a Turkish ship, many of the victims Turkish nationals.  Turkish outrage was evident from the very beginning, yet the country carried itself with diplomatic aplomb; insisting the Israelis immediately release the hostages of the flotilla Israel had seized, providing transportation for those released and returning them first to Turkey and then to their country of origin; all of this under the watchful gaze and inaction of a seething West paralyzed by its fear of even the most  minimal response to an international atrocity.   The suspension of ties, if it’s carried out by Turkey, is complete from military to intelligence gathering and sharing to diplomatic.  The situation demands no less than that from any and all countries, yet because of a wholly unhealthy relationship between Israel and some of her allies, that country is literally able to get away with murder.  Turkey, and Dubai moderate countries and allies of America are once again giving a civics lesson in how to be good neighbors and friends to the rest of the world and it’s high time the world pay attention instead of dismissing them.  By demanding Israel follow the rule of law and have transparent investigations into their behavior with meaningful consequences for Israeli illegal activity, these countries are contributing to the health and stability of peace and international relations.  Unfortunately, there are far too many who believe dissent is the illegal activity and are not able to see where inaction against Israeli terrorism is doing more to aggravate tensions and instability than meaningful, constructive calls for action.  Turkey 2, Israel 0.