Friday, January 28, 2011

Massive but informative ...

... Dealing With Assange and the Secrets He Spilled. (Hat tip, Lee Lowe.)

Something of a preview here: NYT Editor Unloads on 'Arrogant,' 'Manipulative' Julian Assange. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)

Lee also sends along this: WikiLeaks Diplomatic Cables. (See the comments for Lee's comment of Bill Keller, for which there is much justification. If not for Lee, by the way, I would also almost certainly not have linked to much, if any of this.)

Oh, and Keller has another critic.


  1. Once again, though, a lot of this is ad hominem. While Assange may not be a poster boy for social interaction, and while he may even be a twit, attacking the man as a way of dismissing the importance of what WikiLeaks has attempted to do is classic misdirection, and classically ad hominem.

  2. Hi Art,
    Lee and I have been exchanging emails about this. I was surprised -- and, to be honest, somewhat taken in -- by Keller's piece. I expected him to be more sympathetic to Assange. Also, Keller's description of Assange echoed my own gut-reaction to the guy. I continue to think the whole thing is going to fizzle out in the end. The media is sympathetic overall to the current administration and is not going to aid and abet anyone who might make that administration look bad. This is why we no longer here many complaints any more about Gitmo, or the continuation of extraordinary rendition, or drones dropping bombs on civilians in Pakistan, etc. It is why the anti-war movement has largely disappeared. And why this piece, as you say, is classic misdirection.

  3. May I add a link to Der Spiegel extract (in English, unfortunately with at least one error in translation) from an upcoming book? It contributes to the general picture:,1518,742163,00.html

    My gut reaction, by the way, is fury at the way Keller uses Assange's efforts while stabbing him in the back.

  4. Lee, Keller is obviously washing his hands, or trying to, of any guilt of complicity in the fallout that may or may not come from all this. He is trying distance himself, and place all the blame on Assange. But Keller IS complicit—otherwise he wouldn't have run any of this in the NYTimes originally. This is purely about saving face. It's a maneuver worthy of Pontius Pilate.

  5. I don't want to give the impression that I feel Assange is an angel or hasn't made mistakes (though I definitely support the work of news organisations like WikiLeaks), but the unprofessional tone of Keller's piece begins right with the Times Magazine cover: The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. After having lived in Zimbabwe for many years, I bristle when I hear a grown man being demeaned as a boy. 'Boy' is how many whites spoke to and spoke of a black man, whether 17 or 70.

    And no, I don't think this can be excused by the so-called cleverness of Larsson references.

  6. Lee, I agree with you on every point you make here. Thanks.