By William Bowles
williambowles.info 29 December, 2010
crossposted on Strategic Culture Foundation
31 December, 2010
The revelations come thick and fast, or faster than they were but aside from the odd mention, you wouldn’t know it if you relied on the mainstream media. If ever we needed evidence of collusion between corporate- so-called public broadcasting and the state then the way the diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks have been almost entirely ignored is the proof.
Anybody who has followed my (obsessive) collection of stories on the Wikileaks saga will know that it started off with a grand flourish and so far at least—and the statistics prove it—has faded from view without a whimper from the corporate/state media stranglehold on the news.
Google ‘Adrian Lamo and BBC’ for example and you get just three stories, all pretty ancient news-wise and nothing at all about Lamo’s role as a government informant and the suppressed story of the Chat room ‘logs‘ that formed the basis for Bradley Manning’s arrest:
BBC News – Wikileaks site unfazed by arrest of US army ‘source’
8 Jun 2010 … Mr Manning’s identity was reportedly revealed to the US authorities by a former high-profile hacker, Adrian Lamo, whom Mr Manning had …
BBC News – Hacker explains why he reported ‘Wikileaks source’
So news that former high-profile hacker Adrian Lamo had turned over an Army …
BBC News – US intelligence analyst arrested over security leaks
The ex-hacker, Adrian Lamo, said Spc Manning “boasted” to him about passing …
The BBC reports Lamo’s accusations pretty much verbatim not even bothering to use the word ‘alleged’. But what’s worse about the BBC’s dereliction of duty to the public it is legally bound by charter to serve, is that the BBC has failed to follow up on the story at all (all three BBC stories date from June, 2010, and all three effectively a rehash of the original piece).
Google ‘Nicola Calipari and BBC’ and there’s nothing later than 2005, yet as reported by Michael Leonardi in ‘What the Wikileaks Cable Reveals concerning the Sgrena Affair: Covering Up the Murder of Nicola Calipari’, the US and Italian governments colluded to coverup the murder in Iraq in 2005 of Nicola Calipari at the hands of US occupation forces.
Back in 2005 when Calipari was murdered, the BBC carried dozens of stories on the event. It was world news after all, so why no coverage now?
“In a cable that was released by Wikileaks, there is clear collusion between the Italian and the US governments to bury the story of Nicola Calipari’s murder and to deter any future investigations into this case. This cable has unleashed an outcry for justice and chorus of calls for a reopening of the Calipari/Sgrena investigation. His wife Rosa Villecco Calipari now a Member of parliament for the Democratic Party in Italy, called the revelations proof that her husband had been betrayed not just once, but two times by the Italian and American Governments and secret service agencies. Giuliana Sgrena has also called for a reopening of the case as have journalists and activists alike.” — ‘Covering Up the Murder of Nicola Calipari’ — ‘What the Wikileaks Cable Reveals concerning the Sgrena Affair: Covering Up the Murder of Nicola Calipari By Michael Leonardi’– Counterpunch
So where’s the outcry from the corporate/state media now that we have facts that reveal collusion to cover up what appears to have been the deliberate assassination of Nicola Calipari?
In fact, aside from all the drivel about ‘Cyber War’ being drooled all over us by the MSM, Wikileaks might well as never have happened.
Google ‘Wikileaks and Nicola Calipari’ and there’s only one mention in the MSM and that’s the actual cable on the Guardian website.
The BBC website carried approximately 103 stories on Wikileaks between the day they broke, 28 November and today, 29 December. Of these twenty-nine were exclusively about Julian Assange and his travails leaving seventy-four stories actually about the cables, well kind of (see below).
Just as interesting is the (diminishing) frequency of BBC stories on the cables. Between 29 November and 10 December, the average is about six per day but after this, aside from the ‘bump’ on 16-17 December (8 per day) when Assange’s bail hearing occurred, the frequency dropped to two per day on average (these figures include the stories about Assange). The last story was published on the 26 December.
As of today, the 29 December, Wikileaks and even Julian Assange have vanished from BBC coverage, at least on their Website (to be replaced by the murder of an attractive young woman, that has been getting wall-to-wall coverage since she vanished some time before Christmas).
A further analysis of the BBC’s ‘Wikileaks’ stories reveals the following:
Of the 103, 35 referred to actual cables on: Sri Lanka, (the Tamil Massacres), Thailand (royal succession), Kashmir (torture), the UK’s Liberal Democratic Party (badmouthing Nick Clegg and UK’s paranoia about its ‘the special relationship’ with the US), Fidel Castro (he nearly died), Ghana (drugs of course), UK ‘extremists’ (‘al-Qu’eda’ in Britain, of course), UK trains Bangla Desh death squads, Sudan (arms trade, of course), China and Africa (aggressive China, of course), Megrahi (Lockerbie bombing), Australia and China, US plans for the Baltic, US ‘vital facilities’ list, China and Google, Egypt and Sudan, Gordon Brown, Mexico (drugs, of course), Russia (the ‘Mafia’, of course), US cluster bombs, Cuba and Venezuela (Cuban spies, of course) and finally Pakistan.
The remaining 69 either deal with Assange himself (29) or ‘Cyber War’ and ‘hackers’ or the attempts silence Wikileaks (40). In other words there are more stories on events surrounding Wikileaks than there are on the cables themselves.
Not surprisingly, the cables the BBC omits from its (limited) coverage paint a very different picture. See for example, ‘WIKILEAKS: Yours Obediently, Europe’ By David Cronin that covers the relationship between Europe (groveling) and the US (dictating).
Or the obvious problems with the source of Manning’s arrest and detention, Adrian Lamo, referred to above. Since reporting the original story back in June, 2010 the BBC has completely ignored the topic, but given the play it has given to Bradley Manning, you’d think it would be anxious to inform the public, firstly that the logs had been heavily redacted by Wired Magazine, which broke the story. Secondly, there all kinds of inconsistencies in Lamo’s allegedly encrypted chat file that got Manning arrested in the first place.
Or the way the US lied about its knowledge of the assassination in Dubai of the Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabouh by Israel’s Mossad, again a story that’s missing from the BBC’s list of what it considers news.
“On February 25, 2010, State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley lied when he told a press conference that he wasn’t aware of any request from Dubai for assistance in tracking the Mossad killers of Mahmoud al-Mabouh. To those who say that Wikileaks hasn’t told us anything we didn’t already know–think again.” — ‘Wikileaks: State Department Lied, Denying Dubai Asked for Assistance in Tracking Mossad Assassins’, By Tikun Olum, Global Research, 28 December, 2010
Or the sordid story of US pressuring Ethiopia to invade Somalia in 2006:
“U.S. officials were lying when they claimed to have attempted to restrain Ethiopia from invading neighboring Somalia in late 2006. Newly unveiled documents show that “the Bush Administration pushed Ethiopia to invade Somalia with an eye on crushing the Union of Islamic Courts,” which had established relative peace in much of the country.” — ‘WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia’s Arm to Invade Somalia’ By Rob Prince, Global Research, 26 December, 2010
And what of the US involvement in the coup d’etat in Honduras, also mentioned in the cables and not covered by the BBC?
“Wikileaks has recently published documents suggesting that PR spin helped determine the final outcome of the June 2009 Honduran coup. At the same time that a July 2009 diplomatic cable from the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras to top government officials confirmed that the Honduran president’s removal was illegal, professional lobbyists and political communicators were beginning a PR blitz, eventually managing to manipulate America into believing the coup was a constitutional act.” — ‘Honduras PR Coup‘, PR Watch, 21 December, 2010.
What the BBC’s coverage reveals is the total lack of context and history that enables us to make sense of it all. There’s no attempt to set the cables into the context of US foreign policy, for example, the disparaging attitude toward its so-called allies in the ‘War on Terror’ and no mention of US bullying and threats made toward countries that don’t toe the US line. It’s a pattern that is apparent only when the cables as a whole are assessed as an accurate reflection of US foreign policy. And this includes all the speculation and pure drivel apparently churned out in an endless stream, no doubt to impress their masters back on the Beltway.
And this view is verified by the choice of cables the BBC chose to write about which when taken collectively reveal that the BBC presents the cables as discrete events, totally unconnected to each other. They get transformed into disposable ‘news bites’, mostly inconsequential but occasionally embarrassing or even damaging, especially when connected together, which of course the BBC doesn’t do, except superficially.
This is media manipulation on a grand scale, made all the worse by Wikileaks actually collaborating with the gatekeepers, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, the New York Times and El Pais.
So the cables go through a double censorship, first by the corporate media (in collaboration with the US state) that decides what’s ‘fit to print’ and then once again by the corporate/state media that puts the ‘appropriate’ spin on things before releasing them to the public.
We need only read John Stockwell’s ‘In Search of Enemies’ or Philip Agee’s ‘Inside the Company – CIA Diary’ to understand how the cables fit into the imperial scheme of things. All analysis stems from the a priori viewpoint that it’s the US against the world, thus agents in the field be they diplomatic staff or CIA operatives (often the same thing) need only reinforce the US worldview and back in those days it was the ‘Red Menace’.
“Another of the forged [by the CIA] documents referred to a non-existent campaign of the Cuban Embassy in Lima to promote the Ecuadorean position on the Rio Protocol. Because not many Peruvians believed the documents to be genuine, the [CIA] Lima station had great difficulty getting them publicized.
…[but] a recent defector from the Cuban Embassy in Lima — present during the raid and now working for the Agency — has ‘confirmed’ that the TSD documents are genuine.” — ‘Inside the Company’ By Philip Agee. p.146, Quito, 30 December, 1960
This portion of Agee’s diary was written just after the US had engineered the overthrow of the president Manuel Araujo on 16 December, 1960 for being too friendly to Cuba, all part of the US ‘War on Communism’.
“…the CIA maintains secret liaison with local security services wherever it operates. Its stations are universally part of the official communities of the host countries. Case officers live comfortable lives among the economic elite; even “outside” or “deep cover” case officers are part of that elite… They are ill at ease with democracies and popular movements—too fickle and hard to predict.” –’In Search of Enemies’, By John Stockwell. p.49
The cables have to be viewed within the specific culture of the US state’s diplomatic staff, who as Stockwell points out live the lives of colonial masters, regardless that they are residing in what is meant to be a sovereign state. With vast stashes of cash available to be doled out to the locals for ‘services rendered’ is it any wonder that the cables reveal that the US diplomatic community behaves and thinks the way it does; as agents of Empire.
Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, War and Resisting Government Crackdown
Democracy Now!: Julian Assange: Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government (original interview and transcript)
Daniel Ellsberg: Julian Assange is Not a Terrorist
Robert Meeropol: My Parents Were Executed Under the Unconstitutional Espionage Act
John Pilger in conversation with Julian Assange
Wikimania and the First Amendment by Ralph Nader
John Pilger: Global Support for WikiLeaks is “Rebellion” Against U.S. Militarism, Secrecy + Clip from “The War You Don’t See”
US Cables Leaked from WikiLeaks
Afghan War Logs from WikiLeaks
Iraq War Documents from WikiLeaks
Pingback: Cables expose US-Israeli war talks by Bill Van Auken « Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Unity in 2011 By Timothy V. Gatto « Dandelion Salad