“Dozens of members of the American media and public officials have called for (Julian Assanges) execution or assassination”, the American historian William Blum points out. War by media, says current military doctrine, is as important as the battlefield. This is because the real enemy is the public at home, whose manipulation and deception is essential for starting an unpopular colonial war. Like the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attacks on Iran and Syria require a steady drip-effect on readers’ and viewers’ consciousness. This is the essence of a propaganda that rarely speaks its name.To the chagrin of many in authority and the media, WikiLeaks has torn down the facade behind which rapacious western power and journalism collude. This was an enduring taboo. In Sweden this trial by media has become, according to one observer there, “a full-on mobbing campaign with the victim denied a voice”. For more than 18 months, the salaciousExpressen, Sweden’s equivalent of the Sun, has been fed the ingredients of a smear by Stockholm police.Its latest “scoop” is an unsubstantiated story about “the great WikiLeaks war against Sweden”. On 6 March Expressen claimed, with no evidence, that WikiLeaks was running a conspiracy against Sweden and its foreign minister Carl Bildt. The political pique is understandable. In a 2009 US embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks, the Swedish elite’s vaunted reputation for neutrality is exposed as sham. (Cable title: “Sweden puts neutrality in the Dustbin of History.”) Another US diplomatic cable reveals that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known”, and unless kept secret “would open up the government to domestic criticism”.

The dirty war on WikiLeaks

Media smears suggest Swedish complicity in a Washington-driven push to punish Julian Assange

Julian Assange high court

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, arriving for an extradition hearing at the high court in London on 2 November 2011. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

War by media, says current military doctrine, is as important as the battlefield. This is because the real enemy is the public at home, whose manipulation and deception is essential for starting an unpopular colonial war. Like the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attacks on Iran and Syria require a steady drip-effect on readers’ and viewers’ consciousness. This is the essence of a propaganda that rarely speaks its name.

To the chagrin of many in authority and the media, WikiLeaks has torn down the facade behind which rapacious western power and journalism collude. This was an enduring taboo; the BBC could claim impartiality and expect people to believe it. Today, war by media is increasingly understood by the public, as is the trial by media of WikiLeaks‘ founder and editorJulian Assange.

Assange will soon know if the supreme court in London is to allow hisappeal against extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual misconduct, most of which were dismissed by a senior prosecutor in Stockholm. On bail for 16 months, tagged and effectively under house arrest, he has been charged with nothing. His “crime” has been an epic form of investigative journalism: revealing to millions of people the lies and machinations of their politicians and officials and the barbarism of criminal war conducted in their name.

For this, as the American historian William Blum points out, “dozens of members of the American media and public officials have called for [his] execution or assassination”. If he is passed from Sweden to the US, an orange jumpsuit, shackles and a fabricated indictment await him. And there go all who dare challenge rogue America.

In Britain, Assange’s trial by media has been a campaign of character assassination, often cowardly and inhuman, reeking of jealousy of the courageous outsider, while books of perfidious hearsay have been published, movie deals struck and media careers launched or resuscitated on the assumption that he is too poor to sue. In Sweden this trial by media has become, according to one observer there, “a full-on mobbing campaign with the victim denied a voice”. For more than 18 months, the salaciousExpressen, Sweden’s equivalent of the Sun, has been fed the ingredients of a smear by Stockholm police.

Expressen is the megaphone of the Swedish right, including the Conservative party, which dominates the governing coalition. Its latest “scoop” is an unsubstantiated story about “the great WikiLeaks war against Sweden”. On 6 March Expressen claimed, with no evidence, that WikiLeaks was running a conspiracy against Sweden and its foreign minister Carl Bildt. The political pique is understandable. In a 2009 US embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks, the Swedish elite’s vaunted reputation for neutrality is exposed as sham. (Cable title: “Sweden puts neutrality in the Dustbin of History.”) Another US diplomatic cable reveals that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known”, and unless kept secret “would open up the government to domestic criticism”.

Swedish foreign policy is largely controlled by Bildt, whose obeisance to the US goes back to his defence of the Vietnam war and includes his leading role in George W Bush’s Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He retains close ties to Republican party extreme rightwing figures such as the disgraced Bush spin doctor, Karl Rove. It is known that his government has “informally” discussed Assange’s future with Washington, which has made its position clear. A secret Pentagon document describes US intelligence plans to destroy WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity” with “threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution”.

In much of the Swedish media, proper journalistic scepticism about the allegations against Assange is overwhelmed by a defensive jingoism, as if the nation’s honour is defiled by revelations about dodgy coppers and politicians, a universal breed. On Swedish public TV “experts” debate not the country’s deepening militarist state and its service to Nato and Washington, but the state of Assange’s mind and his “paranoia”. A headline in Tuesday’s Aftonbladet declared: “Assange’s moral collapse“. The article suggests Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ alleged source, may not be sane, and attacks Assange for not protecting Manning from himself. What was not mentioned was that the source was anonymous, that no connection has been demonstrated between Assange and Manning, and that Aftonbladet, WikiLeaks’ Swedish partner, had published the same leaks undeterred.

Ironically, this circus has performed under cover of some of the world’s most enlightened laws protecting journalists, which attracted Assange to Sweden in 2010 to establish a base for WikiLeaks. Should his extradition be allowed, and with Damocles swords of malice and a vengeful Washington hanging over his head, who will protect him and provide the justice to which we all have a right?

Follow Comment is free on Twitter @commentisfree

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/09/julian-assange-wikileaks

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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