The Importance of Wikileaks

Posted: August 25, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Media, Politics
Tags: , , , , , ,

Murdoch and Fox News have become notorious for their blatantly right-wing viewpoints

Nearly every newspaper in the English-speaking world is biased towards one cause or the other. Rupert Murdoch is often cited as the prime example of the malevolent media tyrant that is, effectively selling us news stories which lean toward a certain kind of conservative, pro-American viewpoint – with Fox News being the best example of this. So, when we live in times when our news is tainted by vested interests, plenty of stories can be swept under the carpet.

In times gone by, the US Army had often been kept in check by journalists; during the Vietnam War, for example, freelance reporter Seymour Hersh uncovered the aptly-named My Lai massacre, where an estimated 347-504 unarmed civilians were willfully murdered by US forces. These days, however, journalists are less prepared to dig deeper than the press releases they are given by military spokesmen, and as such, are not doing their jobs properly. There is no doubt that we do not know the full extent of the death toll in Iraq, but, by taking the US Army on their word, they are allowing countless more atrocities to go unnoticed by the western world.

This is where Wikileaks comes into it. Quality journalism can be used as a great way of ensuring justice in the world – if there are people were willing to report the worst of the conflicts, then Armies will not use such overwhelming force in places like Fallujah, where the entire town was wiped out in an American blitz on the city. The Italian film,¬†Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre found serious evidence of the use of the banned white phosphorous (a napalm-like explosive) and of chemical weapons, which were used indiscriminately in the November 2004 raid. The sources for these claims are very credible, including former soldier Jeff Englehart, who is now an anti-war campaigner after witnessing at first-hand the way in which the Americans have handled the war in Iraq. This video is pretty grim, but it also gives a sense of the magnitude of the destruction that has actually gone on in Iraq, and it’s much worse than we could imagine in our mind’s eye when we hear those White House press releases.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange: The anti-Murdoch

Wikileaks continues these kinds of investigations, and takes it to another level. Led by Australian Julian Assange, the group is based in Iceland, and has managed to obtain hundreds of thousands of confidential papers which paint a pretty bleak picture of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as shady business deals from around the world. Here’s a link to one such classified incident, plus a few more that are also relevant.,_5_Apr_2010


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