by Joseph W
Following the expulsion of Luke Harding from Russia, The Guardian’s David Leigh has been tweeting all about this case in relation to Wikileaks and Russia. Yesterday’s Guardian editorial reported:
Three days ago the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent [Luke Harding] returned to Russia to resume his duties there after a period of secondment in London, where he had been working on the team assessing and organising WikiLeaks material. Half an hour after his arrival he was in a detention cell, in spite of having a valid visa, and an hour after that he was back on the plane that had brought him to Moscow.
Luke Harding is also the co-author of a Guardian book on Wikileaks with David Leigh. Among other things, the book exposes how Julian Assange paid Israel Shamir to spin and deliver unredacted Wikileaks cables to Russian and Eastern European state officials, and assist the Belarussian dictator Lukashenko.
Now the Kremlin’s state English-language media outlet Russia Today carries a bizarre piece which accuses of Harding of provoking Julian Assange to launch a libel case. [HT: Maria Technosux]
Here’s the video report:
The article states:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in a legal fight against being sent to Sweden over sexual assault accusations, is also set for another UK court battle.
He is threatening to bring a libel action against the Guardian newspaper, which helped release American war logs and secret diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
Assange is understood to be angry at claims in a book the newspaper published about the whistle-blowing website.
The piece draws on the writings and the opinions of Israel Shamir. Shamir claims that the Guardian deliberately redacted cables for political reasons:
The Guardian, which belongs to the left imperialist wing, they did not want such things to be known to their audience. Basically, they wanted to cut them out, and so they did, they cut out everything negative about the opposition. In this way, any reader of the Guardian, and actually any reader of WikiLeaks, would never learn the view of those people on their leaders.”
The piece also draws heavily on Shamir’s insider knowledge and his previous writings on this subject. Compare this article on RT with Shamir’s article in Counterpunch about the Guardian’s editing of Wikileaks cables.
Both articles mention redacted cables relating to Western business interests in Kazakhstan, as evidence that the Guardian is only seeking to protect big business.
The central accusation is that the Guardian is using Wikileaks to be more critical of the Khomeinists in Iran than the opposition figures, which proves that the Guardian is Western, liberal and biased.
Also from this piece, we realise that the Guardian has redacted cables to (a) protect lives and (b) to avoid getting sued for libel.
Judging by its callous attitude towards “informers”, and its libel threat against the Guardian, Wikileaks clearly doesn’t care about either.
Furthermore, Wikileaks are using unredacted cables to damn the Guardian for bothering to redact cables in the first place, via Israel Shamir.
A few weeks ago, Israel Shamir went to Belarus, and used Wikileaks cables to try and damn Belarussian opposition figures who bravely stood up to a dictator.
The RT piece featuring Israel Shamir today claims that the cables also damn Moussavi, Karroubi and Khatami – Iranian opposition figures who bravely stood up to a dictator.
As The Guardian is now painfully experiencing, Wikileaks strengthens despots and weakens liberals.