Monday, November 1, 2010

Julian Assange walks out on CNN

There is a very valid criticism of the documents released by 'Wikileaks' a couple of weeks ago and that is that they seriously underestimate the number of Iraqi dead. Indeed, although the 'New York Times' does concede that by relying on reporting from journalists, morgues, and now soldiers, we can never know what deaths are being missed, the impression, nevertheless, being given by the documents is that the death toll stands at about 115,000 civilians, when in fact in reality the actual figure  might be some seven times higher than that. Therefore, we might conclude that we have a serious question here with which we might confront 'Wikileaks' in general and Julian Assange, as the face of the organisation, in particular. Nevertheless, there is enough evidence to suggest that Mr Assange would be more than happy to discuss the figures and it might even be that he would refer to the 'New York Times' line of argumentation.

What we have yet to see is Julian Assange discussing anything less than hard evidence. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that when CNN tries to get him to seriously discuss the ongoing smear campaign against his person, the 'Wikileaks' founder gets up and walks out of the interview for the reality is that the issue that is on the agenda is not his character, but rather an illegal war and mass murder.  Furthermore, as I have already said, while Mr Assange would, I am sure be quite willing to discuss the scale this massive crime against humanity, while most likely following the 'New York Times' logic, he is not going to demean himself and, more importantly, the real issue.

Indeed, I am reminded of Norman Finkelstein in the 'American Radical' when he responds to the usual "self hating Jew" accussations against his person by simply replying ..... "and what if they are right, does that alter the facts." As far as Iraq is concerned an illegal war of aggression has been pursued and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have been slaughtered. Moreover, while the charges against Mr Assange are almost certainly trumped up, the evidence against the war criminals is overwhelming. Organisations like CNN would do well to not aid and abet them.

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