On Board the Good Ship Cablegate: Assange in the Entrails of Empire
By ISRAEL SHAMIR
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Our real-life Neo did it again! In this new installment of Wiki-Matrix, the intrepid Julian Assange assaults the Empire while being pursued by ravenous Pentagon generals, shadowy CIA agents and overheated Swedish feminists.
Excuse me if I'm sounding like a teenager's comic book, but this story has so many twists and plots it makes my head swim. I haven't been this dizzy since my first days as an anti-Zionist writer, hounded and alone. One day I was approached by a venerable Hassidic man; I instinctively cringed, expecting an ugly scene. Instead of condemnation I was deluged with goodwill, and at that same moment an orchestra next door suddenly struck up an old Jewish wedding tune. This ancient blessing seemed to rocket me up, up and away from the modern nationalist cult of brutal force, up to a place where old traditions still had value and relevance. Or was that just Clark Kent doing his thing again?
The digital generation prefers the Matrix's Neo to Superman, but the dynamics remain the same. As Neo wanders Moebius' spaceship, he stumbles upon a group of down-to-earth, eager, sweet kids dedicated to the destruction of the Matrix. Hard as steel yet perfectly humane, these young men and women enjoy the camaraderie of an elite troop awaiting the signal to attack. They follow their leader simply because he is the best and the brightest. I felt this same esprit de corps on a recent visit to one of Wikileaks' safe-houses somewhere in Europe. This confluence of hackers and journalists was assembled in preparation to launch what will be known to history as Cablegate, or perhaps Megaleaks.
Here were Malena from Brazil, Joseph from Sweden, Sara from New Zealand, James from England, and numerous others no less important and valuable, all lounging on mats and sofas, laptops on laps and eyes peering into the heart of the Matrix. One quarter of a million secret and confidential US Embassy cables sit like so many digital wasps waiting to be released into cyberspace. They will strike at the tender underbelly of the empire, the flattering self-delusions that maintain the imperial armies. It just might be enough to turn the tide in the battle to recover our evaporating freedoms.
These dirty little cables throw a bright light upon the murky policies of the American Imperium, on their methods of collecting information, of delivering orders, of subverting politicians and robbing nations. Yet before we lapse into a comfortable and reflexive anti-Americanism, let us never forget that this, arguably the greatest revelation of criminal wrongdoing in history, was only made possible because brave and honest Americans were willing to risk life and limb to leak the truth.
Tensions run high when you dare oppose the awesome power of the Matrix. These bright, young cyber-warriors are willing to put their lives on the line for us. Will they survive the launch, or will some evil clones round them up and break them down? In any case, spirits are high and the weather is fit for such a daring enterprise: glorious high skies, a brilliant sun, and bright stars to guide us through the restless nights. Whatever happens I shall be forever grateful for these days, for the company of these charming young men and women, and for the inspiration of their charismatic leader. It is impossible not to admire Julian Assange. He is forever kind, quiet, gentle, and even meek; like the Tao, he leads without leading, directs without commanding. He never raises his voice; he hardly needs to speak and the way becomes clear. Our Neo is guided by the ideal of social transparency. Bright light is the best weapon against conspiracies.
On board the good ship Megaleaks, I leaf through the latest reports from the front line. There seem to be three main themes, all of which are centered on our plucky hero, Julian Assange. There is the "traitor" theme (which shrouds a globalist empire in patriotic colors), the "rapist" theme (in which a spurned lover is revenged upon our hero because he failed to produce a contraceptive device at the critical moment), and finally there is the "Zionist plot" theme (which is oddly tied up with the rape theme since one of his accusers has absconded to Israel). As in all well-designed disinformation campaigns, there is something for everyone: conservatives can jump on board with the traitor theme, liberals are fans of the rape theme, and the lunatic fringe can get excited about another Zionist plot. Let's do our best to liberate the enslaved name of "Zion" from the apartheid state and restore it to where it belongs: the good ship Megaleaks and the spotlight of truth. It is simply too good a name to leave to Zionists.
The contents of Megaleaks
The full set consists of 251,288 documents dating from the 28th of December 1966 to the 28th of February 2010, originating from 274 embassies. Each one of these documents is either a secret diplomatic cable that was sent to the USA, or a communiqué from the Secretary of State to US bases. They show the orders given around the world, the intelligence the US government wants gathered and the information to be fed back; what diplomats discover about the places they are working, detailed notes of meetings with members of other governments and the opinions of the sender regarding those with whom they meet. The 261,276,536 words that constitute these cables would, if printed, fill over 3,000 books. These cables clearly depict the tentacles of US worldwide command and control.
The preliminary analysis reveals bad news as well as good news. Bad news: they are insidious. The files show US political infiltration of nearly every country, even supposedly neutral states such as Sweden and Switzerland. US embassies keep a close watch on their hosts. They have penetrated the media, the arms business, oil, intelligence, and they lobby to put US companies at the head of the line. The cables show that the United States is already maintaining a global empire.
And now the good news: they are not omnipotent. The cables prove that they encounter resistance on every level. They always push, but they don't always get their way. Russia is relatively free, so are Iran and Turkey; even the tamest European state does not always placidly submit. The cables add to our own intimate knowledge of the grassroots opposition in the UK and the US; online magazines like CounterPunch are beacons in a sea of fog.
The files reveal some brazen cases of interference. Many of the most recent are connected to Iran, which has become an obsession within the US leadership. For instance, just before the speech of President Ahmadinejad at the UN General Assembly, the State Department ordered the Europeans to leave the room at a certain cue. In fact, the European powers did jump to the US whistle that day, just as the obedient soviet satellites once leapt to Stalin's tune. There was only one country that violated the order: Sweden. The terrified representative had accidentally missed the cue and frantically sent distressed signals to the Americans for further instruction.
Consider the small and poor state of Tajikistan, who merely changed masters. It supposedly became "independent" in 1991, but what really happened? Nowadays, they jump to US orders just as they once did Soviet orders. An ambassador's cable says tersely: "the US called upon president Rahmonov to dismiss [the Drug Authority chief] Mirzoev and he fulfilled this request". Who shall save our poor little Tajikistan from the clutches of the Matrix? The ambassador gives us a clue: "We believe Russia is exerting consistent and strong pressure on Tajikistan to reduce the U.S. and Western role and presence. Moscow's pressure is beginning to take a toll."
Or consider Azerbaijan, where American influence has waned and the power of Israel has waxed to such an extent that a cable from the Baku embassy compares Israeli-Azeri relations to an iceberg with nine-tenths unseen.
It appears that American power peaked in 1990s, and now it has begun to slowly decay. Megaleaks is not so much a cause as a symptom of decline. With any luck, people of good will around the world can work together to gracefully degrade the machinery of foreign domination. Americans have benefited least of all from the violent and intrusive politics of globalism. Heroic figures like Julian Assange lead us toward genuine local control and away from a Matrix-like network of conspiracies.
Israel Shamir can be reached at email@example.com
Edited by Paul Bennett
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