When Judging the Source Do Not Disregard its Track Record by Sibel Edmonds (Boiling Frogs)
It is not easy to be the one who bears bad news, questions what’s beneath glitzy packaging, or the one who throws cold water on seemingly good news. Trust me it isn’t. We all want to feel good. It is much easier to cheer than to question and criticize. We want heroes. We like pedestals and figures to worship. I don’t know why but it is what it is, and I am who I am- daring to be unpopular with questions that need to be asked and answers that have to be sought.
We have news and information, and we have sources. The source is as important, or even more important, than the information or the news. This is a fact-the blunt and indisputable reality. Whether you like it or not.
What happens when a source with a mile-long track record and a long-known history of being a guardian of the establishment starts advertising itself as the guardian of the truth? I tell you what happens: you get a majority that in an instant disregards or forgives all that history and track-record in order to make believe and feel good; however short-term it may be.
Let me give you an example: Remember Barack Obama the candidate? Recall how his entire past, his track record in the Senate, and all his long-known associations were totally erased and put aside for his pretty-prepped talks and promises? That’s right. He made the majority feel good with hollow talk and empty promises- and while high on the pheromones induced by well-packaged and even better advertised establishment-made hero talk, no one gave a damn about the contradicting facts, track-record or history.
We have a very similar situation in the latest status given to a news-information source with a long-known and established history as one of the establishment’s propaganda platforms. Currently it is not popular to question or bring up this previously-known propaganda outlet’s track-record and its past dark and highly questionable deeds. And once again, I am going to dare unpopularity by bringing up the dark past and questionable record of this currently popular outlet.
Establishment-driven media is known for its critical role in censorship, or destruction and vilification of anti-establishment sources and whistleblowers. Sometimes they flat out black them out. Sometimes they directly and viciously attack and smear them right from the start. And sometimes they begin by posing as friends, gaining their source or whistleblower’s trust, stripping them of their material (information), and then turn around and stab them in the back repeatedly and publicly. Allow me to illustrate with a few real-life examples:
The Guardian UK was one of the first news outlets to partner up with Wikileaks and pose as one of its very few media friends. They lined themselves up with Assange, gave him their word, appeared as his partner, and then, in a very critical and strategically planned maneuver they turned around and stabbed the source as viciously as possible.
The Guardian was the first of the five print media partners WikiLeaks worked with to assist in the publication of secret US diplomatic cables, beginning in late November of last year. Within a month of their initial publication, the newspaper had broken off relations with Assange. The new book by Leigh and Harding is in line with the Guardian’s campaign of character assassination against Assange, including its public declaration in favour of his extradition to Sweden. The campaign began publicly with the December 17 editorial “WikiLeaks: the man and the idea”.
It is in reality a politically-motivated hatchet job aimed at discrediting Assange and facilitating his persecution by the Obama administration and its allies in the UK and Sweden.
Another UK establishment paper provides a limited glimpse into the Guardian-Wikileaks saga here: From Allies to Enemies: How ‘The Guardian’ Fell Out with Assange
In September 2011, WikiLeaks released an editorial in response to another Guardian betrayal. The editorial explained the history and circumstances of the matter as well as Leigh’s involvement:
WikiLeaks severed future projects with the Guardian in December last year after it was discovered that the Guardian was engaged in a conspiracy to publish the cables without the knowledge of WikiLeaks, seriously compromising the security of our people in the United States and an alleged source who was in pre-trial detention. Leigh, without any basis, and in a flagrant violation of journalistic ethics, named Bradley Manning as the Cablegate source in his book. David Leigh secretly passed the entire archive to Bill Keller of the New York Times, in September 2011, or before, knowingly destroying WikiLeaks plans to publish instead with the Washington Post & McClatchy.
David Leigh and the Guardian have subsequently and repeatedly violated WikiLeaks security conditions, including our requirements that the unpublished cables be kept safe from state intelligence services by keeping them only on computers not connected to the internet. Ian Katz, Deputy Editor of the Guardian admitted in December 2010 meeting that this condition was not being followed by the Guardian.
Guardian’s pro establishment maneuvers and operations are not limited to Wikileaks. The outlet has a pretty consistent track record as a war propaganda machine lubricated by the establishment. You can read several well-documented examples at a website dedicated to exposing Guardian:
On July the 10th 2013 the Guardian published an article written by Yassin al-Haj Saleh in which he directly appeals to “friends and leaders of public opinion in the west”. The article is entitled “Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late” and is pretty much a public letter attempting to persuade readers to support some kind of military intervention in Syria on behalf of the rebels – be that weapons shipments or a no fly zone or both.
Also on Libya:
The 2011 armed conflict in Libya was fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by skirmishes and protests in Benghazi beginning on Tuesday the 15th of February 2011. Within days of the conflict beginning the Guardian began publishing pro interventionist and overtly aggressive editorials.
Check out Guardian’s serious journalistic talent on this:
During the conflict the Guardian also seemed very eager to report that Gaddafi was issuing Viagra to his soldiers so they could commit mass rape against his opponents.
For more examples of the Guardian acting as the establishment’s guardian see here.
Now back to the currently popular front, and a hint of what may be taking place behind the scenes:
WikiLeaks scolded the Guardian on Twitter Thursday for redacting the names of two National Security Agency surveillance programs later revealed by The Washington Post. A new National Security Agency slide depicting the relationship between two agency Internet surveillance programs was revealed Wednesday by the Washington Post, provoking WikiLeaks to call the Guardian’s coverage “worrying.”
Immediately after the first exposure of the Snowden case we at Boiling Frogs Post conducted an interview with Cryptome’s John Young and asked some of the above questions and discussed the meaning and implications of the Guardian-Greenwald withholding of Snowden files. Please take time and listen to the podcast interview- discussion here.
Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.