The Carnivalesque Rebellion Issue

Julian Assange: Metameme Warrior

All wars are meme wars.
Julian Assange: Metameme Warrior

Photo by Andrew Winning, Reuters

Audio version read by George Atherton – Right-click to download.

With the release of a video entitled “Collateral Murder” last April, the mysterious organization WikiLeaks declared war on secrecy in the United States and forever changed the way American wars can be packaged and sold to the public.

The leaked footage showed an American Apache helicopter killing 18 people including two Reuters journalists in Iraq in 2007. The crew’s callousness and macabre humor as they calmly unleashed hell on unarmed men and children sent shockwaves around the world and revealed the brutal reality of America’s foreign occupations.

Describing itself as a media insurgency, WikiLeaks recently raised the stakes by releasing over 91,000 classified military documents from US operations in Afghanistan. One of the largest leaks in American history, the “War Logs” exposed the previously unreported killings of hundreds of Afghan civilians and revealed the extent to which the Taliban’s strength has grown.

Predictable outrage over the leak exploded out of the White House, Pentagon and conservative media outlets.

Despite their resistance it is now clear to many that we desperately need WikiLeaks to reveal the truth. Wars are not invariably fought on lies, but they are often sold to the public with exaggeration and misrepresentation of facts.

Until now people with information that could cut through the fog had to trust journalists and put their lives in their hands. But even if whistleblowers did have faith, journalists can be legally compelled to reveal the names of their confidential sources.

Using encrypted communications and technology to erase leakers’ digital fingerprints, WikiLeaks hosts its material on servers in European countries with tight privacy laws. Leaked documents are kept beyond the reach of any nation’s judicial process, and the site is a very secure and encouraging mechanism for courageous individuals to anonymously leak information vital to the public interest.

Valuing the individual’s right to know over all else, WikiLeaks’ “uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking” destroys the editorial role cherished by many media outlets by releasing all information to the public unfiltered.

“I am an information activist,” WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange told the Guardian. “We believe a richer intellectual and historical record that is fuller and more accurate is in itself intrinsically good and gives people the tools to make intelligent decisions.”

The potential impact of WikiLeaks in relation to its size is staggering. At the core of the organization is a group of only a half-dozen full-time volunteers. With their help one conscientious individual with important information can shake the world.

In 2006 Assange wrote that a social movement exposing secrets could “bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality – including the US administration.”

Leeks Comic

David Shrigley, originally published in the New Statesman

To be sure, Assange and his team at WikiLeaks have faced challenges. They have been threatened with hundreds of lawsuits but so far no one has taken them to task in court.

In 2008 WikiLeaks itself revealed US counterintelligence plans to shut down its site. The classified report suggested: “The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the WikiLeaks.org Web site.”

These plans have proven ineffective.

Just as online piracy revolutionized copyright, the emergence of WikiLeaks has done the same for secrecy, and the PR and propaganda of war making has been dealt a huge blow. Governments can no longer conduct their dirty business in private, and whistleblowers with the guts to reveal the truth can impact the course of history.

In effect, the geopolitical game has changed forever. It takes a degree of public outrage to mobilize a population behind a war, and it is tempting to wonder how different American history could have been if an information-leaking mechanism like WikiLeaks had existed decades ago.

The most disastrous and devastating war in American history began with a bold-faced lie when the National Security Agency (NSA) fabricated intelligence describing an attack by North Vietnamese boats on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. Midlevel NSA officials were responsible for the faulty intelligence, and a conscientious whistleblower within the agency could have prevented the widened war and the pain of untold millions of people in Southeast Asia and the United States.

The weeks before the invasion of Iraq were a crucial tipping point when millions of people marched in cities around the globe in some of the largest protests in history. There was a real, tangible feeling that our collective resistance could make a difference and stop a war that we knew was wrong. Yet without any evidence of the Bush administration’s lies we would all soon sit stunned, watching bombs rain down on Baghdad live on CNN.

By revealing the falsehoods and manipulations that often underlie the case for war, WikiLeaks can alter the course of wars and maybe even prevent them. The true nature of WikiLeaks' capabilities will be seen in the lead-up to the next war launched on lies.

All wars are meme wars. And the PR campaign to strike Iran has been mounting for years. It is now much easier and safer for an individual with crucial information to expose official lies than it was in the lead-up to the wars in Vietnam or Iraq. If Western leaders attempt to deceive the public into waging another war in our name, the way is now clear for a brave source to come forward with information, confident in WikiLeaks’ ability to protect his or her identity.

—Blake Sifton

20 comments on the article “Julian Assange: Metameme Warrior”

Displaying 11 - 20 of 20

Page 2 of 2

Anonymous

This is a video I made about the way the mainstream media lies to us and keeps us distracted while real things happen on the streets...
enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxXaki_9w2s

Anonymous

This is a video I made about the way the mainstream media lies to us and keeps us distracted while real things happen on the streets...
enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxXaki_9w2s

AdbustersisSlate?

can't wait til these guys leak all those secrets on "Israel" and their ongoing genocide. Then the sh*#t will really hit the fan.

AdbustersisSlate?

can't wait til these guys leak all those secrets on "Israel" and their ongoing genocide. Then the sh*#t will really hit the fan.

Anonymous

First of all the information on Wikileaks is not "unfiltered".

Second, since the released data shows the active involvement of Iranian special forces in supplying training and weapons to Iraqi insurgents it seems unlikely that this will act as a deterrent to attacking Iran.

Third, some extra info,

The servers are hosted in Sweden by the political party "The Pirate Party".

Wikileaks is great and will be a deciding factor in the future and freedom of the internet.

The question is whether Julian will live long enough to see it.

Long live Wikileaks

Anonymous

First of all the information on Wikileaks is not "unfiltered".

Second, since the released data shows the active involvement of Iranian special forces in supplying training and weapons to Iraqi insurgents it seems unlikely that this will act as a deterrent to attacking Iran.

Third, some extra info,

The servers are hosted in Sweden by the political party "The Pirate Party".

Wikileaks is great and will be a deciding factor in the future and freedom of the internet.

The question is whether Julian will live long enough to see it.

Long live Wikileaks

Awakening Tempest

The revolution of the internet in the last decade has made information widely available, specially the blogging platform which has provided an alternative to mainstream media - which was always in the hands of those elite who case wars in the first place.

Well - now we have mainstream media shown up to be incompetent, irresponsible, and falsifying news to support an agenda of the elite.

Alternative media and news report such as wikileaks have proven that the public (me and you) are being fed crap all the time. For a high profile individual to come out and accuse wikileaks is directly attacking us, the general public.

The important thing is which we should all remember is that - we need to know the truth so we can decide the future for our selves and not commit our troops to a cause which the public (me and you) disagree with hole heartedly.

Guys wake up - if we don't then the hard work by Wikileaks and the alike will simply go to waste.

http://awakeningtempest.wordpress.com/

Awakening Tempest

The revolution of the internet in the last decade has made information widely available, specially the blogging platform which has provided an alternative to mainstream media - which was always in the hands of those elite who case wars in the first place.

Well - now we have mainstream media shown up to be incompetent, irresponsible, and falsifying news to support an agenda of the elite.

Alternative media and news report such as wikileaks have proven that the public (me and you) are being fed crap all the time. For a high profile individual to come out and accuse wikileaks is directly attacking us, the general public.

The important thing is which we should all remember is that - we need to know the truth so we can decide the future for our selves and not commit our troops to a cause which the public (me and you) disagree with hole heartedly.

Guys wake up - if we don't then the hard work by Wikileaks and the alike will simply go to waste.

http://awakeningtempest.wordpress.com/

ModernMoralDOTcom

The collateral murder video hasn't changed shit. I am a supporter of wikileaks and assange. But my feelings are that prior to the iraq invasion everyone knew the leaders were bullshitting about WMDs etc. Basically we are used to being lied to and deceived, it is accepted now. Leaders and the population are content with what happened in Iraq, i would say most people knew such an outcome would result too.

It was basically just an idealogical racist war, and talk of terrorism and WMDs was just the filter everyone used so they could remain in denial of their authoritarian tendencies. Hence this video is revealed, the media talks about how big a deal it is, but does anyone revolt? Does anyone really care? We already knew what the video represented before it even existed.

Wikileaks wont save us, it wont make a difference, it is preaching to the converted. We already know the systems we have in place are wrong, there is already enough evidence to show this. Yet the masses still don't care despite all this evidence, more wont make a difference.

Maybe we need to destroy the ones in power?

Long live wikileaks though

ModernMoralDOTcom

The collateral murder video hasn't changed shit. I am a supporter of wikileaks and assange. But my feelings are that prior to the iraq invasion everyone knew the leaders were bullshitting about WMDs etc. Basically we are used to being lied to and deceived, it is accepted now. Leaders and the population are content with what happened in Iraq, i would say most people knew such an outcome would result too.

It was basically just an idealogical racist war, and talk of terrorism and WMDs was just the filter everyone used so they could remain in denial of their authoritarian tendencies. Hence this video is revealed, the media talks about how big a deal it is, but does anyone revolt? Does anyone really care? We already knew what the video represented before it even existed.

Wikileaks wont save us, it wont make a difference, it is preaching to the converted. We already know the systems we have in place are wrong, there is already enough evidence to show this. Yet the masses still don't care despite all this evidence, more wont make a difference.

Maybe we need to destroy the ones in power?

Long live wikileaks though

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.