360 thoughts on “Back in Ghana

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  • Alfred

    Jon,

    In case your remarks directed at a non-existent Albert were intended for me.

    I draw no definite conclusion about Assange. Is he a dupe, a stooge, a money-making scoundrel — is he short the shares of the bank on which he threatens to deal the dirt, a megalomaniac?

    I don’t know, although I think Mark Golding’s interpretion is quite probable, i.e., that Wikileaks is some kind of cognitive infiltration operation, which is to say, an operation to persuade those of the alternative media community that everything they thought about the war is wrong, and in particular, that Osama really did do the Twin Towers (even Noam Chomsky denies that), Saddam really did have WMD’s and Iran really is poised to wipe Israel off the map. If that is so, it would be reasonable to regard Assange as a particularly toxic appendage of the Imperial power structure.

    Re: If Wikileaks has endangered, say, hundreds of people, should we not consider the million dead from US foreign policy …?

    But what if Wikileaks is just more prowar propaganda? If you deny that it is propaganda, give me some examples of Wikileaks documents that can reasonably be expected to reduce public support for the war (Providing information that results in the killing human rights activists in Afghanistan, or providing the Taliban with information that helps them kill NATO soldiers only strengthens public support for the war.).

    In any case, you won’t stop the war by giving aid to your country’s enemies. The US empire and its European vassal states all have elected governments. If you want to change policy, the only legal and sane way is through electoral means–admitedly a near impossibility now the dogs of war have been loosed.

    If you are a saint or a lunatic you can stand in front of the war machine, but you will be crushed as Rachel Corrie was crushed.

    Rachel Corrie was truly a Ghandian martyr of the non-violence movement, and I honor her courage and her sacrifice, which had the useful effect of making clear to the world the brutality of Israel’s racist colonial policy. But I will not emulate her action, nor therefore, can I advise anyone else to do so.

    However, I don’t see how one can condone the sacrifice another person’s life in order to make a political statement. Therefore, I regard with contempt and revulsion Assange’s casual acceptance of responsibility for the death of innocents in Afghanistan, whether soldiers or civilians.

  • Alfred

    Tony,

    Re: “So I reckon the charges are ridiculous and so will the UK Police.”

    I tried pointing this out on another thread. The only possible significance of the charges seems to be that they make it appear that Assange is the victim of state harassment, which might be taken by some as evidence of his anti-war cred, or by those more cynical, of his anti-war incred, since the charges are vacuous.

  • tony_opmoc

    I have absolutely no idea where these guys come from, but the guy who looked like he was a Palestinian – he just blew me away…

    You see The Quality varies from complete starter to well – you know…

    So he could be really famous…

    I didn’t pursue him, because the 14 year old from Kent blew even him away…

    But any way, I bumped into him outside the pub – and said to him you were awesome – its the way you play – you seem to do it so effortlessly like you are riding a motorcycle at a leisurely 70 mph but you are so relaxed and so cool and we are just amazed how you can get so much power out at 70mph, knowing that at any time when the Rhythm is ready, you can both slow down to 20mph or accelerate to 250mph and you will still be note perfect

    Its only a guitar

    Tony

  • glenn

    Hello Alfred: If one wanted to make a profit (by shorting banks, etc. etc.) there certainly would be easier ways of doing it! You wanted examples of wikileaks documents that might reduce support for the wars. If the truth that’s already available in abundance doesn’t do it, probably not much else will. I might cite the bloodthirsty cowards firing at the Reuters journalists from a helicopter miles from danger, or the many thousands of individual reports, logging the grinding, deadly pointlessness of an occupation. But that’s not going to convince anyone, no more than pointing out the filthy war profiteers or the lies that began these adventures.

    You seem to require evidence convincing to a larger audience would prove wikileaks is not a propaganda front, but that seems an unreasonably high standard to demand. Since nothing will convince a population immersed in mind-numbing popular entertainment, and steeped in establishment propaganda, against the government position, so why do you bother even asking for the virtually impossible?

    It also seems that you have acquired a touching faith in democratic principles holding in the west. We cannot vote in a party that opposes war, because none is standing for election, even though the majority of the country would like that. Not one of the three parties campaigned on an anti-war platform in the UK, despite that being undoubtedly the most favoured position. Not one of them represents it now. Democracy might be all very well, but it doesn’t work – our corrupt leaders have managed to circumvent it, both here and the US.

    Jon, earlier, asked why even a tiny fraction of the manufactured outrage about the possible danger Assange was placing on people revealed in wikileaks is not poured 100 times onto those warmongers who started wars of aggreesion. Or words more or less to that effect. I don’t believe he’s had a serious answer.

    In any case – name anyone who has been killed as a result of Wikileaks telling the truth? I’ll do you a deal – name one, and I’ll name ten who have died as a result of our government telling lies to drum up war. And I can keep that going for a long, long time. And then maybe we can talk about why there is not much more outrage from governments about pro-war lies, than outrage concerning wikileaks.

  • tony_opmoc

    Alfred,

    I never actually took much notice of wikileaks – sure I saw the Helicopter Baghdad shoot em up

    But thought – well I’ve already seen a similat thing before…

    And then when the latest stuff came out, I was seriously unimpressed…

    Sure big deal…tell us something we don’t already know…

    And immediately afterwards all this pro-Israeli and right wing neo-con propaganda came out – and even Zbig didn’t seem to be too sure what was going on…

    So I kind of went with the view that he had received funds from the CIA and probably Mossad too…

    And was maybe working for Mossad…

    And then I did a bit more analysis of what the information really said – and it was a MASSIVE Attack on Hillary Clinton – like he had let off loads of rockets and one of them went straight up Hillary’s arse.

    I thought this really bizarre…

    So I reassessed my opinion of him, and when they tried to ban him, I was completely really fucking annouyed and I think my mates suddenly fucking mirrored his sites 219 times which is quite a lot

    He maybe a cunt – but he hasn’t broken any laws and has entertained us for the last week or so ….

    I am just Shouting

    MORE

    I reckon I know what his Insurance Policy is but was never really into encryption

    I have seen the emails – and posted them

    It will all come out in the wash

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    This is a secret, but I did notice…

    Rather a lot of Julian Assange’s CV is like mine – like in parts identical –

    Except for most of the time, I was working on the inside trying to keep buggers like him out…

    And I retired 6 years ago.

    I have toasmit he is rather good looking, but my hir is much longer – and I have got a Professional Qualification – Well Sort of…

    A bit Like His…

    But I could fucking Do It and Did

    I was Fucking Good

    But Now I am Retired – Because I Kept The Company I Was Working For Alive

    And So Should He

    Its a UNIX thing

    You see – you can see everything – and so you have to adopt some really basic really fundamental principles with regards to responsibility

    You have suddenly found yourself in this position of trust

    You can’t betray that trust that people have given you – even if you didn’t realise you were going to land here.

    96% of People are Nice and Exceedingly Honest.

    Believe it – It is True.

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    I have to say this again, because actually it is quite a wonderful thing

    All The Top UNIX Systems Administrators I have Worked With From All Over (At Least My World – I Don’t Know About Yours)

    Have Exhibited The Highest Level of Integrity

    And Most Of Them Are Really Nice Guys Too…

    Not Like Computer Games Programmers At All………

    Well You’ve Got To Haven’t You??? What other Choice Do You Have?

    In all the companies that I worked for the management projected the highest levels of integrity…

    They Just Said – Do It – Make It Work

    So we did

    We Didn’t Fiddle Our Expenses or Anything

    They Paid Us Well For The Work We Did. We were Respected Both By Our Bosses And By The People We Provided Services To…

    And I Personally Claim For The Company I Worked For and Who Pays My Pension The World Record For The Most Reliable Major Computer System in The World Starting in 1995

    Cos we were Benchmarked and We said No We Can’t Come First in The World – Mark Us Down to 6th For Fuck Sake

    We are ENGLISH

    Strange but True

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    As well as having the utmost integrity we also achieved the near impossible at the time

    It was like threading a haystack through a needle

    We were the FIRST

    We had The FIRST MAJOR DEPLOYMENT OF ITS TYPE IN THE WORLD

    We were Fucking BRILLIANT

    We Did It

    Then They Told Us To Do More

    And we all Fucked Off and Went Our Seperate Ways and Did Something Different…

    Then They Demolished The Place Where We Did It – and We Had All Left

    I am not quite sure how this happenned, but I have worked with some of the most talented people in the world…

    We Learned Together – and Just Did it Even if it Meant Working 15 hour days for weeks with only a few short breaks for sleep

    Sure we broke all the Rules – but we had to make it work

    Otherwise it would have all gone to fuck

    But you can only do that for a few years otherwise you blow up

    You have No FUCKING IDEA

    How Good We Were

    Tony

  • angrysoba

    I have an announcement to make. I have formally decided to stop using my Larry from St. Louis alter ego tag. I know I was rumbled a long while back, but I had already started digging a big hole for myself and felt compelled to perpetuate the big lie. I want to formally apologise to Craig, and everyone else, and reassure you all that it won’t keep happening. I feel very ashamed and foolish. I don’t care if you all think i’m a complete tithead. I am going to make all future posts from the one tag. I fully realise that spewing the same stuff from two tags makes me no more credible. Let’s call it my New Year resolution.

    Merry Christmas to you all!

    Bah HUMBUG!

  • tony_opmoc

    I probably shouldn’t say such things in America

    Look as you probably realise as I keep telling you, that I am not working for anyone and I think I may have written a few rather strong things before I went to the pub – and probably afterwards…##

    But personally I think the only person he Really Fucked and I am Not Suggesting it was Up The Vagina

    Was Hillary Clinton

    i Mean For Fucks Sake

    The Fucking Aussies Have Got Some BALLS

    Straight Up

    They Don’t Fuck Around

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    Look its like this

    V2.0010911 was a complete abortion

    And then there was

    V2.0050707

    And It Was Fucking Horrible

    These Nasty People Were Letting Off Bombs Everywhere Trying To Make Us Afraid Of Them

    But We Are Not Afraid Of You

    And We Are Doing Away With The Version System But We Will Train You In Jail

    Some of You Might Be nice and wrongly accused

    That is why we Have LAWS and TRIALS and JURIES

    If You Break Them, then you could be in TROUBLE

    BECAUSE WE FOUGHT FOR OUR LAWS

    And we are not going to let Arseholes Like Tony Blair, George Bush and Dick Cheney Take Our LAWS Away From Us

    Tony

  • Alfred

    Hey Glenn,

    “If one wanted to make a profit (by shorting banks, etc. etc.) there certainly would be easier ways of doing it!”

    I dunno, you seen the chart for Bank of America, it’s been gently downhill for the last six months. Now, if Assange has something really good, it could send the stock to just about nothing — emails, for instance, confirming criminal intent in the creation or sale of dud mortgages.

    “You wanted examples of wikileaks documents that might reduce support for the wars. If the truth that’s already available in abundance doesn’t do it, probably not much else will.”

    What we’ve had from Assange is more of what we already knew, or what we already knew was a lie. We knew, for instance, that the US kills unembedded journalists without compunction. They gave warning of this before the Iraq war had even begun. And we knew bin Laden was dead long before Assange told us otherwise.

    What I’d call significant, would be proof of high level political authorization of atrocities such as the bombing of the golden Mosque, which got the Sunnis and the Shias killing each other, or the Mumbai killings. About such events, we have no proof of state crimes, although that is probably what they were.

    I actually, agree with Tony. Hillary Clinton seems to be a prime target of the leaks. She has responded by promising not to run for the Presidency. Not that that will stop her if she thinks she has a chance, but it takes the heat off for now.

    “It also seems that you have acquired a touching faith in democratic principles holding in the west.”

    Not at all. I agree its totally fucking hopeless. But what’s the alternative? Putting one’s faith in a known liar and seeming fantasist? I don’t think so. I agree with Cyril Connolly, once the war is on, it’s too late for effective anti-war protest. Churchill said the same thing. During wartime, the government is very strong. Why else do Americans put up with sexual humiliation at airports for not sane reason? Because a wartime government is essentially an unlimited government.

    If Assange is genuine, he will be crushed. If he is a stooge, he will likely be crushed anyway — once he has served his purpose. That’s what usually happens to stooges of the US government.

    So, if you consider yourself more cynical than I am, you might be wrong!

    Cheers

  • Alfred

    PS, Glenn,

    Re: “We cannot vote in a party that opposes war, because none is standing for election”

    There was the BNP.

  • angrysoba

    Alfred: “What we’ve had from Assange is more of what we already knew, or what we already knew was a lie. We knew, for instance, that the US kills unembedded journalists without compunction. They gave warning of this before the Iraq war had even begun. And we knew bin Laden was dead long before Assange told us otherwise.

    What I’d call significant, would be proof of high level political authorization of atrocities such as the bombing of the golden Mosque, which got the Sunnis and the Shias killing each other, or the Mumbai killings.”

    So, let’s get this straight. Unless Assange’s leaks conform to your conspiratorial view of the world then WikiLeaks must be part of the conspiracy.

    You believe that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the destruction of the Golden Mosque of Samarra was a “false flag”, that the Mumbai killings were “false flag” operations and you believe these things on NO EVIDENCE but an eager desire to BELIEVE and WikiLeaks will only be genuine if evidence for your unsubstantiated beliefs are revealed.

    At no point are your beliefs to be subject to the same tests. For you X is a suspected “false flag” until proven a “false flag”. They are apparently the only categories of knowledge you apply to terrorist attacks in the world.

  • Alfred

    PPS, Glen,

    There are rumors of Soros shorting Bank of America. And we know Soros funds all kinds of dissidents. Why not Assange? Could be a productive working relationship.

    And Angry

    If creating straw men is the best you can do, why not just go fuck yourself.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Glenn, Jon, great posts.

    Alfred, on one hand, you seem to be suggesting that Assange/ Wikileaks are either state assets or are being manipulated by the empire (let us use this term for a moment, both for convenience and in cognisance of Gore Vidal et al) and on the other that (as the spokesperson of empire argue) Assange/Wikileaks are responsible for deaths and so ought to be subject to censure.

    Now, while I suspect that official imperial opprobrium as manifested through the second point-of-view is largely persiflage and an attempt at news management and damage limitation in this war of the mind, it has seemed to me throughout this debate on Wikileaks that your thrust has been to say that (shall we say) you do not like Wikileaks, one way or another. I also think more generally that you hold deeply paradoxical and inconsistent views on the current military-imperial complex.

    Alfred, at 6:46am, what is this with you and the BNP? If Wikileaks has not revealed smoking guns in relation to various operations (but, to use a CSI-obsessed term, maybe “traces of gunpowder residue”) and if you feel that you can see through the ‘disingenuousness’ of Assange, how is is that you seem incapable of doing the same with the much more shambolic operation that is known as the BNP? On the one hand, you’ve suggested on these boards that the BNP may be a state asset/construct set up to discredit the anti-war stance, yet on the other you clearly have suggested on a number of occasions that people ought to support it because it is ‘anti-war’. It doesn’t matter that it is a fascist, racist party; thankfully, the attempt to veneer this blood and soil ethos has failed at every turn. You have espoused what might be described as ‘right-wing libertarian’ views economically and politically, yet most right-wing libertarians would laugh if you suggested that they support the BNP, a deeply authoritarian (and fascist, racist) outfit.

    Most anti-war people are not fascist or racist and would not in a million years dream of supporting a party like the BNP. They also are likely to despise all three mainstream political parties.

    In short, Alfred, your views are an enigma – as, I think, are Alan Campbell’s, though through a differing set of paradigmatic mirrors.

  • angrysoba

    Alfred, just what the hell do you think i’m doing during those long nights when i’m away from Craig’s blogs for a few minutes? It can get damn lonely at times. 🙁

  • CheebaCow

    Suhayl:

    Great post at 7:23 AM. I wanted to make the same points but was too lazy. Alfred is just throwing around extreme and completely inconsistent accusations. The only consistency is Alfred’s obvious dislike of Assange. According to Alfred, WL/Assange is 1 of 3 things:

    1 – “Wikileaks has either done significant harm to United States interests”, and Assange “has blood on his hands” or

    2 – “Wikileaks is some kind of U.S. propaganda operation, the information released containing sufficient titillating gossip to conceal the taste of rat poison.” or

    3 – Assange is a “money-making scoundrel — is he short the shares of the bank on which he threatens to deal the dirt”.

    The fact that all Alfred’s possible interpretations of Assange are so completely inconsistent and negative says far more about what Alfred wants to see, and not what is actually there to see. Is thinking that pissing off all the most powerful states across the globe is a good money making venture really a reasonable interpretation?

    “Although it is always tiresome to listen to Alex Jones, a recent interview with Webster Tarpley provides background to the thesis that Wikileaks is a US operation intended to damage enemies, both American and foreign.”

    Alfred you say you don’t like Alex Jones yet that is the second Alex Jones piece you have linked to while discussing WL. No one with a serious point to make links to Alex Jones. You also have linked to a shrill anti-global warming piece and a young Republicans op-ed in a student newspaper. Your links aren’t helping your case at all.

    “that Osama really did do the Twin Towers (even Noam Chomsky denies that)”

    I would really like a source for that claim. I have 2 Chomsky talks on my iPod right now and the very premise of the talks is that Osama committed 911.

  • Vronsky

    Perhaps we’re making a false dichotomy: WL is/is not genuine. There are other possibilities – e.g. WL is genuine, just not in possession of anything novel.

    As shoddyhandbags says above “The intention seem to be to publish whatever people leak to them”. As a used car salesman once told me (truly) “I don’t dishonestly sell dud cars, but I can only sell what I’m given”.

  • Jaded.

    Angrysoba – ‘”Bah HUMBUG!”

    The post at “angrysoba at December 7, 2010 3:46 AM” was not me as I’m sure most people will have guessed.’

    Well, well, well. It would have been Lamby right? You do seem to be getting very mixed up and slowly unravelling. It seems we have a regular Norman Bates in our midst. As for New Year resolutions, i’ve heard of some that didn’t endure long I must admit, but that takes the biscuit. Just give it a rest eh pal…

  • Jaded.

    Vronsky – ‘Perhaps meaningful editorial from the (ultra-establishment) Glasgow Herald?

    “WikiLeaks has damaged itself by this publication. It makes it harder to defend the principle of the public’s right to know, when a campaigner fails to recognise where to draw the line.”

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-view/wikileaks-made-the-wrong-decision-1.1072822

    Like you hint at, using Wikileaks as an excuse for internet censorship doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t genuine. Internet censorship is probably very high on the elitist agenda. I hope that no one reading this blog doubts that for a millisecond. They will try to use anything to their advantage. I suppose it’s possible that this could have all been orchestrated with internet censorship primarily in mind, like Ruth says, but would tend to doubt that myself. We have to challenge whatever is in front of us, so does it really matter even?

  • dreoilin

    There is talk above about Julian Assange being responsible for deaths (I assume in Afghanistan?) so here’s a quote from Glenn Greenwald:

    “Meanwhile, in the real world (as opposed to the world of speculation, fantasy, and fear-mongering) there is no evidence — zero — that the WikiLeaks disclosures have harmed a single person. As McClatchy reported, they have exercised increasing levels of caution to protect innocent people. Even Robert Gates disdained hysterical warnings about the damage caused as ‘significantly overwrought’.”

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/01/wikileaks

    And then there’s this:

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. ?” An ongoing Pentagon review of the massive flood of secret documents made public by the WikiLeaks website has so far found no evidence that the disclosure harmed U.S. national security or endangered American troops in the field, a Pentagon official told NBC News on Monday.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38417666/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

    Someone in the US admin (according to what I read about a week ago) admitted that not one Afghan has had to be moved or warned about his/her safety on account of Wikileaks. So what are these allegations of Assange having blood on his hands based on? I’d really like to know.

    Meanwhile in Haaretz, Lamis Andoni finishes up a piece about Wikileaks by saying

    “The WikiLeaks revelations will further erode the image of Arab leaders in Arab public opinion and make it more difficult for them to publicly advocate a war against Iran. Even if some of the fears expressed by Arab leaders are shared by segments of the Arab people, any official Arab attempt, beyond the closed doors of meetings with US officials, to make Iran, rather than Israel, the enemy will backfire.”

    english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2010/11/20101129223858642223.html

    which would seem to be a positive outcome to me.

    On the subject of BoA,

    “It is a won

  • somebody

    BBC News breaking news

    The strapline reads –

    BREAKING NEWS:Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange detained in London after Sweden issues a European arrest warrant

  • the lede

    ‘May I suggest a headline for The Onion? “Swiss banks to Assange: You are not Nazi enough”‘

    Evgeny Morozov, author of the forthcoming book, “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom”

  • dreoilin

    PS: That WMD stuff is nonsense. No quantities specified (what’s a cache?) and no information regarding the age of the items or whether they had a snowball’s chance in hell of being used. “The rounds tested positive for mustard” (mustard gas? isn’t that ancient?) could mean there was just a hint of degraded material discovered.

    If there was a major story in any of it, Sky News would have had it as their lead story for a week or more. PLUS, I seem to remember many of these bits and bobs reported in the American press during the last seven years or so, but not one of them was big enough to make huge international headlines. Because the stuff found was nothing but ancient leftovers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Wired said otherwise.

    Back under the duvet!

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