For an effective defence of Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks work it is important to understand how propaganda works and cut through it. Here is Maxine Walker analysing the propaganda war against Julian Assange.
I’m talking more broadly to there about The Guardians’… The context for what but what has happened to The Guardian and their reporting. So I don’t want to repeat everything that’s in the leaflet that we’ve produced, which I assume everybody has both seen and read, which is this leaflet about the guardian. And that can be reprinted if you go on there. It’s got the artwork, and you can reprint it and send it to other people. So I don’t want to repeat that. The article stroke leaflet spells out exactly the level of blame that attaches to The Guardian, its editors and journalists in Julian Assange’s case. They all know the truth, you need to have no doubt about that. And they have all chosen to either directly lie or to keep silent or as silent as they possibly can. The leaflet quotes, the relentless smears, lies, deceptions, appalling material that they have published over the last 10 years about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
They have done so deliberately. They have… it’s not a mistake. It is something they have consciously chosen to do. For reasons that I’ll go on to explain and contextualise. I think the Guardian above all newspapers has the greatest share of blame for the situation in which Julian Assange today finds himself because they are, falsely as it now stands, regarded as a liberal or progressive, or however you want to turn that, newspaper. And therefore their readership reflects that.
And they’re relentless smears they are relentless concentration on the Swedish case for the first eight or nine years of this case, and they absolute disregard, or lack of curiosity for what has happened to Julian Assange of the CIA and other intelligence agencies campaign against him well resourced, as we know, and relentless and ruthless, and they have chosen entirely not to investigate that but to smear the man, which is a very modern way to destroy somebody who is fighting against the entrenched forces of reaction that we face. So I would recommend that people use the leaflet that they read Jonathan Cook’s excellent articles, and also look at Media Lens to understand just how large the campaign by The Guardian against Julian Assange has been, to the extent that they are now, and this is one of the motivating factors for us, campaigning against the Guardian, and picketing The Guardian, when we could, that they’re now being used as part of the prosecution case against Julian Assange that was clear at the Old Bailey, that one of their particular lies, is being used as quite a large part of the evidence in the prosecution case.
So in my few minutes, what I want to say instead of that, really is, I want to first follow up with something I saw yesterday, which is that on Friday was the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Nuremberg Trials against the Nazi war criminals and other war criminals, and Mike Pompeo Secretary of State, previous track from the CIA, marked the occasion by giving a speech and he said: “After the International Military Tribunal reasserted after the war, the International military tribunals reasserted bedrock principles of Western civilization, especially respect for human rights and the rule of law, and an unfailing commitment to truth and justice.
Now as then America remains steadfast in upholding our highest ideals.” Now, I don’t know if any of you saw that little speech yesterday. As I watched this incredibly stunning nonsense, I was sharply reminded of something that was said by Karl Rove. I don’t know if any of you recall, Karl Rove. Karl Rove was Bush’s right hand man in the propaganda war, leading up to the Iraq War in 2003, the weapons of mass destruction nonsense stories, and he was being interviewed once by a reporter about the war in Iraq. And he said, he, first of all he accused the reporter, and this is a quote from him, he accused the reporter of being part of what Rove called, “what we call the reality based community”.
That was his accusation against the journalist, that he was part of the reality based community and Rove went on to say, he defined that reality based community, as “people who believe that solutions emerge from your study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world works anymore”, he said, Rove, and he went on, “we’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality”. And I have never forgotten that, because it really defines the last 10 years and more that we’ve lived through, I would date the complete departure from reality to the Iraq War, where the very premise of that war, which was sold to the public, was that Saddam Hussein had chemical, biological, and possibly, potentially nuclear weapons.
And you’ll remember that Tony Blair, that tan skeleton that occasionally appears on our television screens, a war criminal, now respectable again, told us that these weapons of mass destruction were capable of reaching London within 45 minutes. Now, you’d have to be really very, very gullible to believe that, but it was believed, and it was, although it wasn’t believed by everybody. There were large demonstrations. But it was the first sign really for me that the Empire’s creation of reality is just propaganda. It’s called propaganda.
The level of propaganda to which Western populations are now subjected have reached grotesque heights and form now one of the key, as Mark Curtis and Declassified have repeatedly shown and form one of the key parts of warfare. That propaganda element is a key part, that disinformation is a key part of the warfare. And as John Pilger said, the times we live in are so dangerous and distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer an invisible government. It is the government. It rules directly, without fear of contradiction. And its principal aim is the conquest of us, our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies. And he cites a poll that was taken in 2013 in the UK, which showed that the UK public believes that less than 10,000 people had died in the Iraq war. That was the figure that they mainly believed, and we know, it was millions and millions more displaced in the Middle East and killed in other in other wars.
So the media in what are laughingly called democracies, are supposed to hold power to account. They not only failed to do this, but they have become servants of that propaganda machines and journalists who don’t tow the line either… well basically don’t work. In place of journalism, what we have is opinion. We have opinion pieces all the time in The Guardian. In place of investigation, we have press releases from the Ministry of Defence, it explains the puzzling phenomena, I found it puzzling at The Guardian were a previous fashion journalist, that was her area of expertise, she was an expert on high heels, feels free to take a leading role in besmirching Julian Assange. She doesn’t leave the sofa to do this, she just has to express her opinion, anything goes. So journalists really don’t need to leave their living rooms or offices anymore, because they just have to express their views or what is latest press release from the intelligence services.
No wonder this made me think… no wonder the obituaries to Robert Fisk, a great journalist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Middle East, no wonder they all called him a controversial figure, because he was actually a journalist. Journalism is now controversial. If you go off your sofa, and get out into the world and do some investigation and find out useful facts, you are controversial. And Robert Fisk was therefore controversial, because when the story broke, of Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Duma, on which the USA the UK and so on based the bombing of Syria, he just went there, he went to Duma, and he talked to the doctors, and he talked to the people who lived there. And his story cast grave doubts on the propaganda, which was that the chemical attack had taken place.
He did journalism. Later, of course, the media buried the origins of the White Helmets, funded by the USA and the British Foreign Office and followed it up with a refusal an absolute refusal to cover the fact that the OPCW inspectors whistleblowers had found that their reports had been altered to fit the narrative of Western governments. So we’ve seen this relentless propaganda.
In recent years, we’ve seen the Integrity Initiative drawing in journalists, we’ve seen campaigns to discredit, relentless campaigns, to discredit Jeremy Corbyn. We’ve seen that consistent campaigning against Wikileaks and other propaganda narratives, and it’s into this world that Wikileaks and Julian Assange came. And is it any wonder with a very different model of truth and transparency, and here are the facts that the other the newspapers and other journalists absolutely hate them, and would perfectly happily see them spend the rest of their lives in prison? The Guardian is no different to the rest of the press. It has lurched to the right. It sensors, it self sensors.
After its brief entanglement with Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, It has debased itself to the intelligence services it has rejoined the D notice Committee, which is one of the ways with which the narratives of the government are spread. It tells them what they must cover and what they mustn’t cover. And, and it The Guardian now employees, a kager of journalists, frankly, who if they are not actually being paid by the CIA, or other intelligence services, should apply to join them formally and get the wage packet, because they’re certainly doing the job. And if you look at their most recent editorial on Joe Biden, whoever wins the US election on Joe Biden’s victory, says, Joe Biden looks to have done enough to win the White House, he will have to reassert America’s role as the global problem solver. This is what the Guardian calls Joe Biden, and America’s role as a global problem solver. And I’d like to know how that description of the US role in the world differs in any way, from Mike Pompeo’s, little speech, about upholding human rights and so on. It differs not at all, in my view.
They know perfectly well the role that the US has played in the world. And they actually think that that is wars it’s torture, it’s detention without trial. It’s ripping up of every treaty, and every international law and obligation. It’s complete ignoring of human rights and international laws on human rights. They regard that as a problem solver. Well, what can you say to that? We may have thought the journalists would support a free press, the Julian Assange case has shown that they will not support a free press. They earn their wages, the way they earn their wages, we were very wrong to even suggest to them that they might support a free press.
And how are they going to respond to Obama saying that the internet is now the greatest threat to democracy, and must be regulated? How are they going to respond to that, because that’s our platform. That’s our platform, where we’re able to put out at least some of the truth that some of the independent media, the decent journalists can still work on. And I, we know who they will censor, they will censor us, they will censor the truth tellers, they will censor the anti war people, they will censor the oppressed peoples in the same way, that they’re now doing it. In the same way that Twitter cuts out Assange sites and cuts out Palestinian sites. That’s what they will do. And he will be formal and legal and regulated.
So we should keep the faith with our reality based view of the world because unlike the rich people in this world, and the elites in this world, and the powerful and their journalistic courtiers, the majority of the world’s population is forced to confront a very harsh reality every day, like how to get your dinner, how can you get some work, it has to confront that reality every day, and it keeps them grounded in reality, propaganda can only work if it’s unchallenged, and reality will out in the end. But the dangers we face are great. And those journalists, editors and others on The Guardian and other newspapers should hang their heads in shame and we should make them recognise that they are actually joining the elites, the rich, the powerful, and the torturers and the war mongers, we have to expose that.
Dump The Guardian! Let’s encourage people to dump the Guardian, start supporting independent media and support Julian Assange.
Participant Youtube Channels:
Free Assange Committee in Germany https://youtu.be/bh9sY2ejuEA
Alex Taylor https://youtu.be/UMqx5lfBWA0
Aidan Killian https://youtu.be/iDKi2AiiO2Q
Antonia Omirou https://youtu.be/hPPM-hyW8S8