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WATCH: US State Dept. Spokesman Struggles To Explain US Hypocrisy In Egypt

by on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 2:26 am EDT in Middle East, World

Here’s an excellent al Jazeera interview that perfectly demonstrates America’s misguided and hypocritical Middle East policy.

US State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley gets tongue-tied trying to explain how the United States can on one hand claim to support the Egyptian protesters in their fight against torture, poverty, corruption & unemployment, while simultaneously propping up their brutal dictator Hasni Mubarak with $1.3 billion per year.

The rhetorical tightrope Crowley attempts to walk will leave you cringing.  Which could be said of most US State Department press briefings these days.

I encourage the “They hate us for our freedom” crowd to take a moment, and watch this video clip:

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Julian Assange: Western Newspapers Hesitant To Publish Israel-Related Leaks

by on Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, WikiLeaks, World

In a new, largely unreported Al Jazeera interview (with Julian Assange’s responses overdubbed in Arabic), the WikiLeaks founder reveals that he intends to release 3,700 documents pertaining to Israel.

2,700 of these documents, he said, originate from within Israel, and include “Sensitive and classified documents” on the 2006 military excursion into Lebanon (which resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 Lebanese — mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis — mostly soldiers).

The documents also contain information on Mossad assassinations, including the murder of Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai, as well as “a Lebanese military leader in Damascus by sniper bullets.”

The Peninsula , a Qatari newspaper, translated a small portion of the interview into English.  When the interviewer confronted Assange about an accusation (apparently lodged by a former colleague of his) of having cut a secret deal with Israel not to publish their secret files, Assange responded:

This is not true. We have been accused as being agents of Iran and CIA by this former colleague who was working for Germany in the past and was dismissed from his job after we published American military documents related to Germany.

We were the biggest institution receiving official funding from the US but after we released a video tape about killing people in cold blood in Iraq in 2007, the funding stopped and we had to depend on individuals for finance.

The Jerusalem Post published the following on Assange’s revelation as to why we haven’t seen more Israel-related leaks:

Assange said only a small number of documents related to Israel have been published so far because newspapers in the West that had exclusive rights to publish the material were hesitant to publish sensitive information about Israel …

“The Guardian, El-Pais and Le Monde have published only two percent of the files related to Israel due to the sensitive relations between Germany, France and Israel. Even New York Times could not publish more due to the sensitivities related to the Jewish community in the US,” [Assange] added.

It’s rather astonishing to think that the New York Times would publish sensitive information on its own country, the United States of America, but would refrain from publishing sensitive information on a foreign country, Israel.  What are we to make of that?

This unfortunately will continue to be a huge problem for WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks, and other whistleblower groups.  By giving the main stream media exclusive rights to the leak information — essentially the power to serve as middlemen between the documents and the discerning public — they are effectively allowing the corporate-owned media establishment to serve as ideological gatekeepers.

And as we learned from the run-up to the Iraq war, and a long string of other failures over the last decade, the establishment media most often chooses complicity over serving as a check on government power.

In the spirit of promoting true transparency, whistleblower groups should never again entrust just a few major publications in the main stream media to play such a vital role.

Watch: WikiLeaks Debate: Glenn Greenwald VS WikiLeaks critic James Joyner

by on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, WikiLeaks, World

Here’s a great 20+ minute video debate on Al Jazeera between Salon blogger, Glenn Greenwald, Italian investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi, and WikiLeaks critic James Joyner.  As always, Glenn completely obliterates the underlying rational of his adversary’s position.  Enjoy!