[Het Parool, The Netherlands]




Berliner Zeitung, Germany

The 'Service' WikiLeaks Provides is No Treason


"The publication of the documents is invaluable. ... A democracy's strength lies not least in the capacity to address it's darkest hours. The Iraq War was one of U.S. democracy's darkest hours. The Chinese government is concerned that a local WikiLeaks-style organization could soon be launched. That concern is well founded. ... Wikileaks is not guilty of high treason, but of providing a service to democracy."


By Uwe Vorktter


Translated By Ulf Behncke


October 25, 2010


Germany - Berliner Zeitung - Original Article (German)

The enigmatic Julian Assange: Is the WikiLeaks founder committing treason against the West, or strengthening democratic governance by better informing the citizenry?


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Richard Watson speaks to David Leigh, the 'Guardian's' investigations editor, and Jeremy Corbin MP of the Stop the War Coalition, Oct. 22, 00:08:10RealVideo

Should they be doing this? Is it acceptable for an unauthorized Internet group called WikiLeaks to provide hundreds of thousands of secret Pentagon documents online? Documents that someone must have stolen? Documents, the publication of which, according to American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, endanger the lives of U.S. troops, allied forces as well as Iraqi civilians? Documents that could provide invaluable information to America's enemies, at least according to Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the U.S. Joints Chief of Staff - who really is in a position to know? And does all this mean that a sensational headline is more important to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange than national security? And does the anarchy of the Worldwide Web subvert the authority of a world power?


The fact that nearly 400,000 documents were uploaded last weekend doesn't mean that the history of the Iraq War is now being rewritten. The reports and logs of the troops have nothing to do with the pivotal political lie George W. Bush told to justify the war before the United Nations and the global public: Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction and his ambitions for nuclear, chemical and biological munitions. It has long been clear that no such weapons existed. Bush maintained their existence only as pretext to waging the war.


Nor are these Pentagon documents central to the political miscalculation of the previous American administration or it's coalition of the willing: removing Saddam Hussein from power meant bringing peace and democracy to Iraq and the entire Arab world. This crusade of the Christian West has failed and the chief crusader has been driven from the White House. Here again, there are no new insights.


[Editor's Note: In fact, George W. Bush served as long as he was permitted to under the U.S. Constitution - eight years.]


Nevertheless, the publication of the documents is invaluable. Because, as was previously the case with the Afghanistan documents disclosure, they provide a detailed narrative of the day-in day-out routine of the war - more precisely: the dirty everyday routine of a supposedly clean war. The logs are written in the sober language of military protocol, interspersed with technocratic abbreviations. They cite decapitated babies, cruel torture-methods, targeted killings and erroneous executions.


Those who believe in what military strategists call "surgical war" - weapons deployed with minimum invasiveness and designed to spare civilian lives, need only read some of the logs. Such individuals will then come to understand that the war wasn't only about the estimated 150,000 people who were killed, but the untold number of others who were neglected and emotionally brutalized - and that for seven years, almost on a daily basis, excessive violence triumphed over humanity, as it has been in every war that came before.




Der Spiegel, Germany: The Iraq War Logs

The Guardian, U.K.: The Iraq War Logs

The Nation, Pakistan: The 'Premeditated Campaign' to Defame Pakistan

The Frontier Post, Pakistan: Pakistan's 'Ruling Clan of Bleating Sheep' Soil the Nation

Le Quotidien Oran, Algeria: 'Civilized' War Criminals Await the Passage of Time

Cuarto Poder, Spain: WikiLeaks Makes Clear Obama's Bush-Era Scorched Earth Policy

Estadao, Brazil: Obama 'War of Necessity' Seems Worse than Bush 'War of Choice'

Outlook Afghanistan: WikiLeaks Memos Say Ex-ISI Chief Plotted Karzai Murder
The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: U.S. Scapegoats ISI to 'Hide its Own Shame'

The Frontier Post, Pakistan: Facing Defeat in Afghanistan, U.S. 'Lies' About ISI

The Nation, Pakistan: Indo-U.S. Alliance Behind Entry of Militants Into Pakistan
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: WikiLeaks' Enlightened Betrayal

Der Speigel, Germany: Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It
Der Speigel, Germany: Task Force 373: The Secret Hunters
Guardian Video, U.K.: WikiLeaks Founder Tells Why Public Must See Documents

Guardian, U.K.: Complete Investigation of the Secret Afghanistan War Logs
Guardian, U.K.: U.S. Commanders Point the Finger at Pakistan

Times of India: WikiLeaks Release Shows Undeclared War by Pakistan on India


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Experts in foreign and security policy will draw some additional conclusions from this pile of files: on the organization of the terrorist resistance, the role of the Iraqi leadership-elite in the post-Saddam era, the influence of Iran, Syria and other Arab countries, and last but not least, the important role that American mercenaries in their official role as private security contractors played in the war.



For the White House and the Pentagon, many of these details are unpleasant - and some are embarrassing. But there is no evidence that this is in fact a threat to the national security of the United States - or that the lives of soldiers or civilians are endangered. Hillary Clinton and Mike Mullen haven't cited a single specific example to support their accusations against WikiLeaks - they have provided no evidence nor argument. They simply stick to the mere assertion that publication of these documents is a scandal.


A democracy's strength lies not least in the capacity to address it's darkest hours. The Iraq War was one of U.S. democracy's darkest hours. The Chinese government, it was reported yesterday, is concerned that a local WikiLeaks-style organization could soon be launched. That concern is well founded. After all, the power of authoritarian governments depends on the ability to decide what is secret and what is public - on what people can learn and what remains with officials. Precisely for this reason, it is essential for this to be done.


In fact, WikiLeaks is not guilty of high treason, but of providing a service to democracy.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US October 27, 6:03pm]


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