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On the 25th Day of Wikileaks, My Government Gave to Me

By davidswanson - Posted on 24 December 2010

On the first day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: the military in every embassy.

On the second day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: two criminal presidents.

On the third day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: three  illegal wars.

On the fourth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: four covered up crimes.

On the fifth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: five plutocracies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

On the sixth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: six sycophants (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

On the seventh day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: seven suicide attacks.

On the eighth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: eight enemy combatants.

On the ninth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: nine NATO divisions.

On the tenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: ten years of pollution.

On the eleventh day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: more profits for credit card companies.

On the twelfth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: drug company immunity.

On the thirteenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: thirteen theocratic thugs.

On the fourteenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: yet another war.

On the fifteenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: fifteen happy followers.

On the sixteenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: sixteen sadistic sanctions.

On the seventeenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: seventeen infuriating peace makers.

On the eighteenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: eighteen months of ignorance.

On the nineteenth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: Bollywood-Pentagon partnerships.

On the twentieth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: corporate muscle for diplomacy.

On the twenty-first day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: black market nukes.

On the twenty-second day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: congressional prostitution.

On the twenty-third day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: twenty-three convicted kidnappers.

On the twenty-fourth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: twenty-four million McDollars.

On the twenty-fifth day of Wikileaks, my government gave to me: killing the messenger.

And 99.25% of the cables were yet to be released.

My, my, what a hellishly generous government.

Re. the "four covered up crimes", readers here might not realize that each of those four words is linked to a different article, so reading all four of the articles is evidently required to see what the four crimes are.

Re. the "five plutocracies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)", 5 is the Guardian, UK, article for "WikiLeaks: Afghan vice-president 'landed in Dubai with $52m in cash' ..." and I recently read an article that posed an interesting question about this. The writer expressed his or her doubts about this story, saying that it's hardly credible that a person could carry $52mn in cash because it would take up a large volume. How easily can $52mn fit in an ordinary suitcase or travel bag? Or was this Afghan carrying a large crate with him and if he was, then was it on a motorized cart, or what? $52mn in cash would surely be heavy, as well as taking up a large volume.

Maybe it was a check or a number of checks that he fraudulently made out to himself in the name of the puppet Afghan government. But it was not checks. The article says that in "one astonishing incident in October 2009 the then vice-president, Ahmad Zia Massoud, was stopped and questioned in Dubai when he flew into the emirate with $52m in cash, according to one diplomatic report".

Either the $52mn was all in $1,000 and/or $10,000 bills, or Ahmad Zia Massoud must've been carrying this money in [large] bags and is a very strong man. Is he an Andre The Giant? If it was all $1,000 bills, then it'd be 52,000 of them; if all $10,000 bills, then it'd be 5,200 of them. What denomination was all of this huge amount of cash in? How many travel bags was he carrying all of this cash in? Why wouldn't the so-called diplomatic report include these details?

Anyway, while the cable is evidently authentic, that is, it was really written and sent by some American diplomat, the cable might not be telling the truth; the story could be a fabrication, or a serious distortion or exaggeration.

Actually, I had completed this post, but then tried a couple of other Web sites to see if the aforementioned article would be found at either and the following one seems to surely be [the] one. It doesn't exactly say what I thought to recall that it did, but what it says is close enough.

"PBS Interview; The Redacting and Selection of Wikileaks documents by the Corporate Media
NYT Reporter Defends Publishing WikiLeaks Cables"

by National Public Radio (NPR), Dec. 8, 2010

I don't know what PBS has to do with this article and I think this part of the title is only due to a screw-up at GR, for the article makes no mention of PBS at all. GR's gotten a little sloppy, now and then, since moving from U. of Ottawa to McGill, which is not surprising; since McGill is mostly known for party and booze school while the brilliant students in English-speaking universities in Montreal probably prefer Concordia, or begin to learn French and go to French universities.


GROSS: You're the New York Times' chief Washington correspondent. You've been reporting on diplomatic relations for, you know, for a long time. And now all of these, like, secret documents basically kind of fell into your laps. So what's an example of a story that you had been covering that you thought you got right, and now you see a completely different version of it because you're reading these secret documents?

Mr. SANGER: You know, there are several, Terry, where I think it's worth going back and taking a second look. ...

There is a lot in the cables that looks at how difficult many foreign leaders are to deal with, whether it is the American ambassador to France's description of President Sarkozy's work habits, to the concerns that many of the diplomats in Russia had about whether or not President Putin is as fully engaged in day-to-day events as he should be, or where some of his money may be hidden.

In fact, one of the themes that runs all through the documents is an American effort to try to describe where world leaders hide their money. And there is a case - there's one case of a very senior Afghan official who is caught going through an airport with $52 million in cash - or so the WikiLeaks document indicates, or the State Department cable indicates. Now I'm not quite sure how you get $52 million into the overhead on an airplane, but it sounds to me like that would be quite difficult. (my emphasis)

There's a real sense, a day-to-day sense of how threatening the world seems to many in the State Department, and there are a couple of examples in this archive of a daily sort of threat assessment where you see concerns about terrorist plots in the making. ...

What worries me the most coming out of these is not only what's in the documents, but what's not in the documents. You know, anybody who goes to China on a regular basis I think sees the degree to which the Chinese are challenging us - not only economically, but technologically. I spent this weekend on a Chinese bullet train that was full of middle-class Chinese just going home after a long weekend in Beijing. And this network of bullet trains has built up in just a few years, while we're still debating whether or not Amtrak can improve the speed of the Acela by 2040.

And you do wonder from reading these documents whether or not we have so preoccupied American national security policy with the concerns about terrorism that the long-term issues of American competitiveness have really not gotten the attention in the past 10 years or so that they need.

GROSS: David Sanger, thank you so much for talking with us.

Mr. SANGER: Thank you, Terry.

GROSS: David Sanger is chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, and has been reporting on the diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks. Sanger is the author of "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power."

You can download podcasts of our show on our website,

The picture shown in the Guardian article on the 52 million USD cable story is surprising and weird, even a little spooky, when considering that what it surely represents is very rich and powerfully influential people. I'll repeat the link for the article in case anyone wants to check the picture.

Rich pigs living high on the hog while billions of innocent people starve. I am really not well impressed by such elitist sh*t at all.

Anyway, people reading articles from the New York Times, Guardian (UK), Der Spiegel, Le Monde, et cetera, about the diplomatic cables need to be very careful. These are all corporate "news" media and they are not reliable for their reports. But we also need to be very careful about the cables when reading them directly, for while they're from US diplomats and embassies, they are not necessarily truthful or accurate. People who treat the cables as if they're all absolutely accurate are very [negligent] and unthinking. People who believe corporate "news" media, even if it's European ones, are reliable for truth are very [negligent] and naive.

Every cable bearing any apparently important information needs to be investigated, that is, verified, to determine what is and what is not true in what these cables say. There are some cables that bear no content of value whatsoever, at best being only interesting and/or entertaining; but there are plenty of cables that need to be treated very carefully. Verifications are required.

If we expect and demand that journalists verify what they report before reporting, then we better do the same thing with what diplomats report in cables. They're not above making mistakes and lying. They can do both and they do commit both, mistakes, exaggerations, distortions, and complete lies. And US diplomats are all employed by imperialist Washington.

And, so, how, exactly, do you fit "$52 million into the overhead on an airplane"? Does anyone have an answer? Oh, he was the sole passenger on the plane and used up all overhead space, you say, maybe? Check the passenger list and make sure to remove the phantom passengers from the list. Then count how many real passengers were on the plane, and also find out how many passenger seats there were on this plane, as well as in what denominational bills the $52mn in cash was in. And once that data is determined, then find out how he could've carried all of the bags full of money and which took up all of the overhead space on the plane off of the plane all by himself, alone, for the diplomatic cable only refers to him as having been caught carrying $52mn off of the plane. Even Andre The Giant couldn't do that, or this. This might possibly be a set of valid questions for starting the investigative work that hasn't been done or even begun, yet.

Question what the cables say.

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