The Guardian, Assange, Pilger, Troof

When Julian Assange started to publish the contents of Private Bradley Manning’s mammoth plundering of US Government cables – I won’t call his act “whistleblowing” because the disclosure was wholesale and indiscriminate – the Guardian immediately leapt into bed with him, as Assange’s media partner.

As well all know, the relationship between Assange and the Guardian turned sour. The terms of their agreement allowed Assange to dictate what the Guardian could and couldn’t publish. However, another Wikileaks employee, erm, leaked some further documents to the Guardian, which were not subject to that agreement. Furiously, Assange threatened to sue the Guardian (for what?!). Ultimately, Assange entered into a new partnership with The Telegraph.

Thereafter, the relationship entirely broke down. The Guardian even started to publish on the fact of Assange’s relationship with the Swedish neo Nazi who calls himself “Israel Shamir” – something which we’d covered months previously – and noted that Shamir had passed documents to Lukashenko, Belarus’ dictator. The love affair was most definitely over.

David Leigh chronicles the absurdity of the relationship in a book. In response, Assange then pushed – to Ian Hislop of Private Eye – a remarkable conspiracy theory in which “Jews” (including Rusbridger himself) on the Guardian were trying to smear him. Why? Supposedly, in order to discourage affluent Jews from funding Assange, of course.

Having scorned Assange for a year or so, The Guardian has now published a ranting article in his defence, by John Pilger. The piece lives up to Pilger’s ordinary standards. Here’s an excerpt:

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 editor Julian 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”.

Pilger quotes William Blum. William Blum is a prominent 9/11 “Troofer”:

The Truthers have long been pressing me to express my support for their cause. Here’s how I stand on the issue. I’m very aware of the serious contradictions and apparent lies in the Official Government Version (OGV) of what happened on that fateful day. (Before the Truthers can be dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”, it should be noted that the OGV is literally a “conspiracy theory” about the fantastic things that a certain 19 men conspired to do.) It does appear that the buildings in New York collapsed essentially because of a controlled demolition, which employed explosives as well as certain incendiary substances found in the rubble. So, for this and many other questions raised by the 9/11 Truth Movement, the OGV can clearly not be taken entirely at face value but has to be seriously examined point by point. But no matter what the discrepancies in the OGV, does it necessarily follow that the events of 9/11 were an “inside job”? Is it an either/or matter? Either a group of terrorists were fully responsible or the government planned it all down to the last detail?

What if the government, with its omnipresent eyes and ears, discovered the plotting of Mideast terrorists some time before and decided to let it happen — and even enhance the destruction — to make use of it as a justification for its “War on Terror”? The Truthers admit that they can’t fully explain what actually took place, but they argue that they are not obliged to do so; that they have exposed the government lies and that the fact of these lies proves that it was an inside job. The Truthers have done great work, but I say that for me, and I’m sure for many others, to accept the idea of an inside job I have to indeed know what actually took place, or at least a lot more than I know now. It is, after all, an incredible story, and I need to know how the government pulled it off. I need to have certain questions answered, amongst which are the following:

1. Were the planes that hit the towers hijacked?
2. Did they contain the passengers named amongst the dead?
3. Were they piloted or were they flying via remote control?
4. If piloted, who were the pilots?
5. Did a plane crash in Pennsylvania? If so, why? What happened to the remains of the plane and the passengers?
6. Did a plane crash into the Pentagon? What happened to the remains of the plane and the passengers?
7. Why do Truthers say that some, or many, of the named Arabic hijackers have been found alive living abroad? Why couldn’t their identity have been stolen by the hijackers?

If the Truthers can’t answer any or most of the above questions, are they prepared to consider the possibility of 9/11 being a “let-it-happen” government operation?

Assange. Pilger. Blum. Paranoid fantasy being promoted as politics.

The Guardian, to its credit, tried to step away from the hysteria and absurdity promoted by the lunatic fringe of politics. But it is so culturally mired in it, that it can never entirely break free.