Monday, October 25, 2010

WikiLeaks stole my weekend

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Having been riveted by the fallout and reporting surrounding the release of WikiLeaks' Iraq War Log, I decided to compile a list of some of the highlights.

• Apparently frustrated by the "tabloid media" and its obsession with his personal life, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked out of a CNN interview because of the reporter's line of questioning. Assange has been accused of being a narcissist, and reports have claimed that this is leading to the undermining of the WikiLeaks organization.

There are some who see Assange's behavior as a sign of an unstable mind.

The New York Times ran with its own piece on Assange's "erratic and imperious behavior" and his legal troubles, drawing a sharp rebuke from Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

It's not hard to see why The New York Times, CNN and so many other establishment media outlets are eager to do that. Serving the Government's interests, siding with government and military officials, and attacking government critics is what they do. That's their role. That's what makes them the "establishment media." Beyond that, the last thing they want is renewed recognition of what an evil travesty the attack on Iraq was, given the vital role they know they played in helping to bring it about and sustain it for all those years (that's the same reason establishment journalists, almost by consensus, opposed any investigations into the Bush crimes they ignored, when they weren't cheering them on).

Greenwald also compared the Times coverage of the leak to many other major media outlets, finding a "vast disparity between how newspapers around the world and The New York Times reported on a key revelation from these documents: namely, that the U.S. systematically and pursuant to official policy ignored widespread detainee abuse and torture by Iraqi police and military (up to and including murders)."

• The children who were caught in the Apache attack that became notorious after the video was leaked by WikiLeaks spoke to the Guardian about that violent morning.

The Jerusalem Press reports that Israel officials feel "somewhat vindicated": ". . . the 400,000 documents leaked to the world’s premier media were proof of another claim Israel has been making for years: the dangerous role Iran plays in the region."

• The Independent (U.K.) reports that Baghdad will investigate the role of Blackwater in deaths: "The Iraqi government says that it will investigate whether employees of the Blackwater security company were involved in hitherto undisclosed killings that emerged from the Wikileaks documents.
In addition to a notorious case in Baghdad in 2007, when Blackwater guards killed 17 and wounded 18 civilians, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism says that it has discovered a further 14 cases when Blackwater personnel allegedly opened fire on civilians."

The Telegraph assembled a useful summary of the "key findings" in the documents.

• And, reports the Christian Science Monitor, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "has claimed that the timing of the WikiLeaks release is part of an attempt to undermine his chances of forming a coalition government. The trove of 'sigacts' — the daily raw military data of 'significant actions' over the course of six years of war — includes reports of security forces identified as under the command of Maliki's office committing crimes."

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