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Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures


The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that's right, Russia's Pravda): "What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic ... After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when ... government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. ..."

So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. ... the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

Odd, isn't it, that it takes a Pravda commentator to drive home the point that the Obama administration is on the wrong side of history. Most of our own media are demanding that WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange be hunted down -- with some of the more bloodthirsty politicians calling for his murder. The corporate-and-government dominated media are apprehensive over the challenge that WikiLeaks presents. Perhaps deep down they know, as Dickens put it, "There is nothing so strong ... as the simple truth."

As part of their attempt to blacken WikiLeaks and Assange, pundit commentary over the weekend has tried to portray Assange's exposure of classified materials as very different from -- and far less laudable than -- what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg strongly rejects the mantra "Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad." He continues: "That's just a cover for people who don't want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."

Motivation? WikiLeaks' reported source, Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, having watched Iraqi police abuses, and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, "I was actively involved in something that I was completely against." Rather than simply go with the flow, Manning wrote: "I want people to see the truth ... because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public," adding that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates, and reform.

There is nothing to suggest that WikiLeaks/Assange's motives were any different. Granted, mothers are not the most impartial observers. Yet, given what we have seen of Assange’s behavior, there was the ring of truth in Assange’s mother’s recent remarks in an interview with an Australian newspaper. She put it this way: "Living by what you believe in and standing up for something is a good thing. … He sees what he is doing as a good thing in the world, fighting baddies, if you like."

That may sound a bit quixotic, but Assange and his associates appear the opposite of benighted. Still, with the Pentagon PR man Geoff Morrell and even Attorney General Eric Holder making thinly disguised threats of extrajudicial steps, Assange may be in personal danger.

The media: again, the media is key. No one has said it better than Monsenor Romero of El Salvador, who just before he was assassinated 25 years ago warned, "The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy." Sadly, that is also true of the media situation in America today.

The big question is not whether Americans can "handle the truth." We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions -- an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, most of which have mounted a hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

So far, the question of whether Americans can "handle the truth" has been an academic rather than an experience-based one, because Americans have had very little access to the truth. Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, "ground truth."

How to inform American citizens? As a step in that direction, on October 23 we "Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence" (see below) presented our annual award for integrity to Julian Assange. He accepted the honor "on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks' contributions are of no significance." In presenting the award, we noted that many around the world are deeply indebted to truth-tellers like WikiLeaks and its sources.

Here is a brief footnote: Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) is a group of former CIA colleagues and other admirers of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. (For more, please see: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/24-8 .)

Sam did speak truth to power on Vietnam, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a truth-teller exemplifying Sam Adams' courage, persistence, and devotion to truth -- no matter the consequences. Previous recipients include:

-Coleen Rowley of the FBI
-Katharine Gun of British Intelligence
-Sibel Edmonds of the FBI
-Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
-Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army
-Frank Grevil, Maj., Danish Army Intelligence
-Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.)
-Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops."
-- Luke 12:2-3

The following former awardees and other associates have signed the above statement; some are available for interviews:

DANIEL ELLSBERG, http://www.ellsberg.net
A former government analyst, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret government history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. He was an admirer of Sam Adams when they were both working on Vietnam and in March 1968 disclosed to the New York Times some of Adams' accurate analysis, helping head off reinforcement of 206,000 additional troops into South Vietnam and a widening of the war at that time to neighboring countries.

FRANK GREVIL, 011-45-5050-2644, frank@grevil.dk
Grevil, a former Danish intelligence analyst, was imprisoned for giving the Danish press documents showing that Denmark's Prime Minister (now NATO Secretary General) disregarded warnings that there was no authentic evidence of WMD in Iraq; in Copenhagen, Denmark.

KATHARINE GUN, http://www.accuracy.org/gun
Gun is a former British government employee who faced two years imprisonment in England for leaking a U.S. intelligence memo before the invasion of Iraq. The memo indicated that the U.S. had mounted a spying "surge" against U.N. Security Council delegations in early 2003 in an effort to win approval for an Iraq war resolution. The leaked memo -- published by the British newspaper The Observer on March 2, 2003 -- was big news in parts of the world, but almost ignored in the United States. The U.S. government then failed to obtain a U.N. resolution approving war, but still proceeded with the invasion.

DAVID MacMICHAEL, (540) 636-7937, dmacmi@centurylink.net
MacMichael is a former CIA analyst. He resigned in the 1980s when he came to the conclusion that the CIA was slanting intelligence on Central America for political reasons. He is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

RAY McGOVERN, cell: (703) 994-1459, (703) 536-8511, rrmcgovern@gmail.com
McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing and briefing the President's Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

CRAIG MURRAY, 011-44-7979-691085, craigmurray1710@btinternet.com
Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, was fired from his job when he objected to Uzbeks being tortured to gain "intelligence" on "terrorists." Upon receiving his Sam Adams award, Murray said, "I would rather die than let someone be tortured in an attempt to give me some increment of security." Observers have noted that Murray was subjected to similar character assassination techniques as Julian Assange is now encountering to discredit him.

COLEEN ROWLEY, (952) 456-0186, rowleyclan@earthlink.net
Rowley, a former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel whose May 2002 memo described some of the FBI's pre-9/11 failures, was named one of Time Magazine's "Persons of the Year" in 2002. She recently co-wrote a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, "WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if? Frustrated investigators might have chosen to leak information that their superiors bottled up, perhaps averting the terrorism attacks." http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rowley-wikileaks-20...

LARRY WILKERSON
Wilkerson, Col., U.S. Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, who criticized what he called the "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal." See recent interviews: http://www.therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=...

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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No, he's not already sent to Sweden, but the extradition process is reported as being one that'll be quick. He may be extradited to Sweden next week; and if he's extradited to Sweden, then he may end up being extradited again, since other countries apparently will then be able to demand or ask for him to be extradited, like the US demanding this, f.e.

A quick comment on something in the above article from Institute for Public Accuracy and which I'll refer to as IPA, first:

So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. ... the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

That's a little too romantic for me, because the US really never deserved the above-described reputation. There have been and there are, today, Americans who match the above-described reputation, but the US, as a whole or country, never has. An undeserved reputation, good or bad, is simply undeserved and shouldn't be treated any other way.

About Julian Assange's arrest and England's refusal to let him go on bail, which his or one of his lawyer's said would or could be $100,000 and the promise to not run, there are a couple of articles at www.globalresearch.ca, an interview with Glenn Greenwald at www.democracynow.org, and several articles at www.uruknet.info. There are surely articles at many Web sites, but these are the only three I checked and I actually learned of the DN! interview at Uruknet.

Wikileaks articles:

There are at least two articles by Wikileaks posted Dec. 7, 2010 at Uruknet and one is for requesting funds, while the other is them saying that they won't be gagged.

Andrew Wilkie:

He's Australian, presently an Independent MP, a whistleblower, former intell. analyst, and prior to having become an intell. analyst, he was an army officer. I got the "army officer" part from the Wikipedia page on him, while having already learned the rest from the following interview with him on the Wikileaks the release of the diplomatic cables. It's a very fine interview, very favorable for what Wikileaks is doing, and he might be another former intell. officer who'd sign the letter this page, here, is about or for.

"Andrew Wilkie on WikiLeaks' Rudd revelations" (8:51)
ABC Radio, Dec. 6, 2010

www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/3085200.htm

Some additional comments on the IPA article:

As part of their attempt to blacken WikiLeaks and Assange, pundit commentary over the weekend has tried to portray Assange's exposure of classified materials as very different from -- and far less laudable than -- what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg strongly rejects the mantra "Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad." ...

True, but Daniel Ellsberg also said in an interview on DN! last week that the cables being released certainly aren't equivalent in weight to the Pentagon Papers, bearing nothing as or anywhere as strong. Iow, the cables being released are much less serious for Washington. Hence, and imo, why "crucify" Bradley Manning or Wikileaks when what they've leaked and published or released, so far, isn't heavy-weight in substance? It should be much less attacked, iow.

That, I suppose, makes it also easier to attack, but this is the sort of twisted reasoning that war criminals and likes would use against or to demonize their so-called "enemies".

Motivation? WikiLeaks' reported source, Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, having watched Iraqi police abuses, and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, ....

True, about what has been reported about what Bradley Manning allegedly said or wrote, but Wikileaks' sources or source for the leaked diplomatic cables haven't been divulged. Julian Assange said, in response to questioning about whether Bradley Manning was or is the source, that Wikileaks has other sources and added that their identities weren't going to be revealed because they must be protected. And that is the kind of response that should be provided, as well as "lived up to".

There is nothing to suggest that WikiLeaks/Assange's motives were any different.

Perhaps true, but he's a person with some twisted perceptions.

1) He mocked 9/11 "truthers" and, therefore, research and analysis conducted by very competent as well as technically qualified people on 9/11; while the "9/11 truth movement", which isn't uniform in beliefs about 9/11, has very many supporters in the US alone, many, many more, worldwide. The supporters for a new investigation, a real one, including former intelligence professionals, including Ray McGovern, two FBI whistleblowers who blew the whistle in relation to 9/11, former US military officers, including of ranks of Colonels and Generals, and many other professionals, as well as politicians of the US, including members of Congress. But Julian Assange mocked all of these people's beliefs that are very strongly founded.

2) And he evidently thinks fondly of extreme criminal Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. That's if what the following article says is true, but it should be verifiable, for it's based on an interview with Time Magazine earlier this year and I just did a Web search, Googling time.com, to see if any links for an interview with Julian Assange would be returned and there is at least one video interview link.

"Wiki-Leaks and plausible lies - Where have all the critical thinkers gone?"

by Joe Quinn, Signs of the Times, sott.net, Dec. 2, 2010

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22275

(snip)

Assange on Netanyahu

In a recent Time Magazine interview, Julian Assange stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is not a naive man" but rather a "sophisticated politician". That's Assange's assessment of a man who is clearly a psychopath. In the same interview Assange said:

"We can see the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can. He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran."

Apart from the fact that he appears to be praising a pathological war criminal, Assange displays an amazing level of naivete. Netanyahu's comment about Middle Eastern leaders making their private opinions public was in reference to the leaked allegation that the Saudi, Jordanian and Emirati governments were privately in favor of "cutting the head of the Iranian snake", something that Netanyahu has been cheer-leading for several years. Despite this, Assange believes that this will lead to "some kind of increase in the peace process in relation to Iran".

Say what?! (my emphasis)

(snip)

Julian Assange is clearly a man with a serious judgement [handicap]. He's not of reliable competence for judging very important realities that very many other people aren't fooled by, can very well analyze, and so on. His judgement is rather very poor for someone who's said to be a journalist, but then not many journalists are any better, and that certainly doesn't make reality any better, either. Oh, f*ck!

I don't agree with absolutely everything Joe Quinn wrote in this article of his and find it long-winded for what value it has in my opinion; but some people might not be bothered by the long-winded aspect and might not notice the couple or few things that I disagree with and which might only be due to phraseology, say. But I certainly agree with his, JQ's, judgement in the excerpted text, above; as well as in most of the article.

Following is the Time.com interview, which I found with a simple Web search.

"TIME's Julian Assange Interview: Full Transcript/Audio"
Dec. 1, 2010

www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2034040,00.html

I'll excerpt the complete part that Joe Quinn excerpted only a portion of a paragraph from, for the end of what Julian Assange said in the paragraph also illustrates a serious lack of being [informed] and, therefore, lack of judgement.

This is the transcript of TIME managing editor Richard Stengel's interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange via Skype on Nov. 30, 2010.

RICHARD STENGEL: Hi, Mr. Assange, it's Rick Stengel. I'm the editor of TIME magazine, and thank you for joining us this evening.

JULIAN ASSANGE: You're welcome.

RS: So sorry about the technical difficulties, but I'm sure it's something you're used to. So here we go.

JA: Thousands of them.

RS: What is the effect thus far of the latest round of leaks and what effect do you hope to have from those leaks? (See TIME's video "WikiLeaks Founder on History's Top Leaks.")

JA: I can see that the media scrutiny and the reaction from government are so tremendous that it actually eclipses our ability to understand it. And I think there is a new story appearing, a new, original story appearing about once every two minutes somewhere around the world. Google News has managed to index. At this stage, we can only have a feeling for what the effect is based upon just looking at what the tips of the wave are doing, moving currents under the surface. There is simply too much volume for us to even be able to see. But looking at what we can, I can see that there is a tremendous rearrangement of viewings about many different countries. And so that will result in some new kind of harmonization [variant: harm minimization]. And we can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can. He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran. I just noticed today Iran has agreed to nuclear talks. Maybe that's coincidence or maybe it's coming out of this process, but it's certainly not being canceled by this process.

(snip)

The transcript is four pages long, though each is short, based on the lenght of the first page. The end of the last paragraph in the above excerpt illustrates that Julian Assange has extremely little knowledge of the Middle East. It is definitely not Israel that persuaded Iran to agree to the talks; Iran has offered it plenty of times for rather a long time, already. Iranian leadership has repeatedly wanted talks, but mutually respectful, legitimate, non-hegemonic ones. Iran offers for talks to be held, because Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy for Iranians and the sanctions and other criminal actions, including threats of striking Iran militarily, forces Iranian leadership to try to get the criminal and hegemonic US, European countries and Israel to agree to mutually respectful talks. But it's definitely not through any good actions from Israel that Iran has been persuaded to make this offer, repeatedly.

He is extremely naive. But there's nothing wrong with releasing the diplomatic cables that were leaked to Wikileaks. Calling Wikileaks "whistleblower" is not fitting, for it's whistleblowers who provide the leaks to Wikileaks, which then publishes them, like any good journalistic organization or business would, or certainly should. But Wikileaks is evidently not releasing any cables that endanger national security or people; not according to Andrew Wilkie and other or many other people who've examined apparently enough of the leaked and published cables, anyway.

I haven't seen any cables or articles about cables that could ever endanger national security or people, and I haven't seen anything of "bombshell" revelation, yet, but have read some articles, two or three anyway, about cables that, imo, could be used for prosecutions, which is what we should be aiming for (also imo).

People should not praise Julian Assange as a genius though, for he clearly is not one.

Continuing with comments on the IPA article:

The big question is not whether Americans can "handle the truth." We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions -- an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, ....

True, and not, imo. While some, perhaps and hopefully many, Americans still supporting the wars would stop doing this if they had sufficient straightforward evidence for guidance, there are also the war-mongering and -profiteering lot of Americans. There evidently are plenty of Americans who don't care about American forces destroying other countries and killing other people, as long as it doesn't financially cost these Americans too much.

Iow, I am not a believer in all Americans being essentially good, or good will, et cetera; most definitely not.

If I was a former intelligence professional, then I would sign the IPA article in support of defense of the work of Wikileaks and whistleblowers, for exposing important truths we should all know about, but without agreeing with everything said in the IPA piece; because I don't agree in what, imo, clearly are falsehoods in it.

"Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War
Power, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening
"

by Andrew Gavin Marshall, Dec. 6th, 2010

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22278

"Global Awakening" is what the whole article is about, but he also excerpts some of what imperialist "intellectual" and schemer Zbigniew Brzezinski specifically has written about "global political awakening", which Zbigniew Brzezinski describes very well, in terms we'll surely all agree with, but while he also explicitly says that this is a menace, threat for the imperialist ruling elites, who, he says, must act to prevent the global movement of awakening from growing further, uniting, and increase opposition to the imperialist elites. And his "prescription" for this is for the imperialist ruling elites or class, the global one, of which the US is still at the top, to establish "global governance", which is a big step towards establishment of a global government and that is surely what people mean when referring to "One World Government".

It's an excellent article or essay, lengthy, certainly longer than I could need to clearly understand what it says; but it's excellent and definitely is a strong defense for the work of Wikileaks. A stronger defense surely isn't possible. He's very thorough; covering all of the applicable or possible angles or viewpoints. And the last part of the essay is entertaining, providing analysis based on a few or several of the cables that Wikileaks has released.

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