Libeling Leakers: Julian Assange, Wikileaks and the Russian “Connection”

shutterstock_192878009-2

360b | Shutterstock.com

What was the New York Times thinking in making the suggestion? Evidently, its patriotic sense has been affronted by the disclosures from WikiLeaks that have sprinkled more than a bit of dust on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In doing so, Julian Assange and the organisation, so claimed the paper, had wangled its way into the Kremlin’s agenda.

Easy to ignore is the fact that the Clinton campaign remains sordidly compromised, a derelict reminder of political atrophy in an already miserable desert of options. When reality television populism starts looking good, we know how cruelly empty that desert has become.

This fearful Grey Lady of the fourth estate, self proclaimed paper of record, has tended to bungle at crucial points in its long history. While it has to be credited with a role in the fall of President Richard Nixon and Watergate, it has also moved into the realm of chest beating (at or least patting) and judgment, when deemed necessary.

Two forces have featured in this chest thumping, though neither can be said to be equivalent. Russia and WikiLeaks have both been mentioned in the context of US politics, supposedly keeping company. The analysis of this connection firstly makes the rather trite assumption that Russia might be involved in manipulating the scene, which then follows with questions about the WikiLeaks “connection”.

This connection was supposedly consecrated by the release of 20,000 emails belonging to the…

Read more