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Issue #1484      8 December 2010

Where to go from WikiLeaks?

The peace movement responds

While only a tiny fraction of the US diplomatic cables scheduled for publication by WikiLeaks have thus far been made available, some conclusions can already be drawn. These cables and the Iraq and Afghan War Diaries provide an opportunity for Americans to see our government for what it is.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

Our government is seen here as controlling a global military and espionage empire that impacts every region of the globe and deceives its own population. Secrecy, spying, and hostility have infected our entire government, turning the diplomatic corps into an arm of the CIA and the military, just as the civilian efforts in Afghanistan are described by Richard Holbrooke, who heads them up, as “support for the military”.

Secret war planning, secret wars, and lies about wars have become routine. The United States is secretly and illegally engaged in a war in Yemen and has persuaded that nation’s government to lie about it. The United States has supported a coup in Honduras and lied about it.

We have long known that the war on terrorism was increasing, rather than diminishing, terrorism. These leaks show Saudi Arabia to be the greatest sponsor of terrorism, and show that nation’s dictator, King Abdullah, to be very close to our own government in its treatment of prisoners.

He has urged the United States to implant microchips in prisoners released from Guantánamo. And he has urged the United States to illegally and aggressively attack Iran. Congress should immediately block what would be the largest weapons sale in US history, selling this country US$60 billion in weapons. And Congress should drop any idea of “updating” the 2001 Authorisation to Use Military Force to permit presidents to unconstitutionally launch more wars. We see what sort of wars our allies urge on our presidents.

We learn that while dictators urge war, other branches of the same governments, the people, and the evidence weigh against it. We learn from a cable from last February that Russia has refuted US claims that Iran has missiles that could target Europe.

We learn from September 2009 that the United States and Britain planned to pressure Yukiya Amano, the then incoming head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to produce reports suggesting Iranian nuclear developments, whether or not merited by the facts, and that National Security Adviser General Jim Jones proposed the propaganda strategy of baselessly tying Iran’s nuclear program to North Korea’s.

Much of the pressure for war appears to come from within the United States, whose representatives treat the entire world as a hostile enemy to be spied on, lied to, and exploited. The secrecy that permits this behaviour must be broken if the United States’ approach to the world is to change. Those who have helped to fulfil President Obama’s campaign promise of transparency must be protected from his vengeance, while those who have abused positions of diplomatic trust to advance agendas of espionage and war planning must be held accountable.

While other countries may offer residency and protection to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, it is the United States that has most benefited from his work. We encourage US cities to offer him sanctuary.

Our Department of Justice has granted immunity for aggressive war, kidnapping, torture, assassination, and warrantless spying, while pursuing the criminal prosecution of Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking materials to WikiLeaks. Were our government to indict Assange or support the extradition or rendition of Assange from anywhere in the world to Sweden, while maintaining that his work and not the Pentagon’s has endangered us, our nation’s moral standing would reach a new low.

Our government should cease any actions it is taking to prosecute Julian Assange for absurd criminal charges, to pressure Sweden to do so, or to sabotage WikiLeaks’ servers. Cover-ups of leaks have a history in Washington of backfiring in the form of larger leaks and scandals. Our State Department should focus on diplomacy and mutually beneficial partnerships with the world community.

We demand an end to all overt and covert wars, a ban on the use of State Department employees and contractors in spying or warfare, and a full investigation of the facts revealed in the WikiLeaks cables.

Information Clearing House  

Next article – General strike in Portugal against austerity measures

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