During Watergate, Nixon’s Goons Tried to Destroy Daniel Ellsberg. Today, the Media Is Assuming That Role With Regard to Julian Assange of Wikileaks
Glenn Greenwald nails it, as always:
After Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, exposing the lies, brutality and inhumanity that drove America’s role in the Vietnam War, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger infamously plotted to smear his reputation and destroy his credibility.
This weekend, WikiLeaks released over 400,000 classified documents of the Iraq War detailing genuinely horrific facts about massive civilian death, U.S. complicity in widespread Iraqi torture, systematic government deceit over body counts, and the slaughter of civilians by American forces about which Daniel Ellsberg himself said, as the New York Times put it: “many of the civilian deaths there could be counted as murder.”
Predictably, just as happened with Ellsberg, there is now a major, coordinated effort underway to smear WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, and to malign his mental health — all as a means of distracting attention away from these highly disturbing revelations and to impede the ability of WikiLeaks to further expose government secrets and wrongdoing with its leaks. But now, the smear campaign is led not by Executive Branch officials, but by members of the establishment media.
This is a horrifying turn of events. The media is supposed to hold government accountable — not be its partner.
Case in point:
This would be Howard Kurtz, of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” today, talking about Julian Assange walking out on a CNN interview Friday.
Watch the video here. The interviewer wanted to talk about office intrigue at Wikileaks instead of the contents of the 400,000 documents Wikileaks dumped overnight on Thursday. It was silly and a waste of Assange’s time (and judging from what Kurtz said, CNN didn’t learn a thing from it).
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