The Cyber-War on Wikileaks
Srecko Horvat, Counterpunch, Oct 18 2016
Srećko Horvat & Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
(Photo: Sunshine Press Publications)
When the ruling class is in panic, their first reaction is to hide the panic. They react out of cynicism. When their masks are revealed, instead of running around naked, they usually point the finger at the mask they wear. These days, the whole world could witness a post-modern version of the infamous quote “Let them eat cake.” As a reaction to WikiLeaks publishing his emails, John Podesta, the man behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign, posted a photo of a dinner preparation, saying “I bet the lobster risotto is better than the food at the Ecuadorian Embassy.”
A similar version of vulgar cynicism emerged earlier this month, when Hillary Clinton reacted to the claim that she reportedly wanted to “drone” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (“Can’t we just drone this guy?”) when she was Sec State. Instead of denying her comments, Clinton said that she doesn’t recall any such joke, saying:
It would have been a joke if it had been said, but I don’t recall that.
One doesn’t have to read between the lines to understand that if Hillary Clinton had said that, she would have considered it a joke. But when emperors joke, it usually has dire consequences for those who are the objects of their “humor.” During the last few months I have visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London several times and each time I came out of the Embassy, where he is spending his fifth year in political asylum under legitimate fear he might be extradited to Pindostan, my thought was the following one: although he lives, without his family, in a post-modern version of solitary confinement (even prisoners are allowed to walk for up to one hour a day), although he has no access to fresh air or sunlight for more than 2000 days, although the Pindo government recently denied him safe passage to a hospital for an MRI scan, if his access to the internet would be cut off this would be the most severe attack on his physical and mental freedom. The last time I saw him, which was only two weeks ago, he expressed the fear that because he had already published leaks concerning Pindo elections and with more to come, Pindostan might find various ways to silence him, including pressuring Ecuador or even shutting down the internet. What seemed a distant possibility only two weeks ago, soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy. When the Obama administration recently announced that it was planning, in Biden’s words, an “unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia,” the first victim was not Putin but precisely Julian Assange, whose internet was cut off just a day after Biden’s self-contradictory proclamation. No wonder Edward Snowden reacted immediately by saying:
Nobody told Joe Biden what ‘covert operation’ means.
According to the DoD’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation is “an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.” It is no secret anymore that the Ecuadorian government has come under extreme pressure since Assange leaked the DNC email database. We don’t know yet whether Pindostan pressured Ecuador to shut down the internet, but it is clear that the present Pindo government and the government to come is fighting a war with WikiLeaks which is anything but “covert.” Is it really a coincidence that Julian Assange’s internet access was cut off shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches? If at the beginning we still had a “soft” version of post-modern McCarthyism, with Hillary calling everyone opposed to her campaign a Russian spy (not only Assange, but also Donald Trump and Jill Stein), then with Obama’s recent intervention it became more serious. With Obama’s threat of a cyber-war, the “soft” McCarthyism didn’t only acquire geopolitical significance, but at the same time a new mask was revealed. Obama is obviously trying to cement the public debate and make the Russian threat “real” or at least to use it as a weapon in order to help Clinton to get elected.
Moreover, this new twist in something that has already become much more than just the pindo elections, shows not only how Obama is ready to strengthen Hillary’s campaign, but it also reveals that a cyber-war is already in the making. It is not a cyber-war with Russia, but with WikiLeaks. And it is not the first time. In 2010, when the Collateral Murder video was published, the Afghan and Iraq war logs were released, and we witnessed one of the most sinister attacks on freedom of speech in recent history. Visa, Mastercard, Diners, American Express and Paypal imposed a banking blockade on WikiLeaks, although WikiLeaks had not been charged with any crime at either state, federal or international level. So if the Pindosi government successfully convinced payment companies representing more than 97% of the global market to shut down an independent publisher, why wouldn’t they pressure Ecuador or any other state or company to cut off the internet? It is worth to check out the Assassinate Assange video for evidence of the verbal masturbation of Pindo boxtops. Pindostan is not only rhetorically trying to “get” Assange, he poses a serious threat to the major elite factions in Pindostan to remain in power. No wonder panic is rising in Pindostan, which is now going even so far that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested in Britain on criminal charges related to the alleged hacking of email accounts used by DCI Brennan, which WikiLeaks published in Oct 2016.
What WikiLeaks obviously successfully challenged is what the Prussian general and military theorist Carl von Clausewitz would call the “centre of gravity” (Schwerpunkt) which is the “central feature of the enemy’s power.” Maybe one day it will be learned in military strategy, or maybe not: “history is written by the victors,” remember? Instead of speaking about the Russians, we should start speaking about the Schwerpunkt of the actual leaks, their real essence. Just take the following quotes by Hillary Clinton exposed by WikiLeaks, which reveal her true nature and the politics behind her campaign. She said “We are going to ring China with missile defence,” she said “I want to defend fracking,” she said climate change environmentalists “should get a life,” she said “you need both a public and a private position,” and she said “my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” What WikiLeaks has shown is not only that Hillary is a hawkish warmonger, first it was Libya (over 1,700 of the 33,000 Clinton emails published by WikiLeaks reference Libya), then it was Syria (at a Goldman Sachs conference she explicitly stated she would like to intervene in Syria), tomorrow it will be another war. It is now clear, and this is the real “centre of gravity” where we should focus our attention, that the future Clinton cabinet may already been filled with Wall Street people like Obama’s was. No wonder WikiLeaks revelations create utter panic not only in the Democrat Party itself but also the Obama administration.
One question remains, isn’t WikiLeaks, by leaking all these dirty secrets, influencing the Pindo elections? Yes, it certainly is, but the current criticism misses its point: isn’t the very point of organisations such as WikiLeaks to publish the material they have and to influence public opinion? The question should finally be turned around: isn’t the Pindo mainstream media the one influencing the Pindo elections? And isn’t Obama, by announcing a cyber-war with Russia, influencing the elections? WikiLeaks is not only influencing the Pindo elections, but transforming the Pindo elections, as they should have been from the very beginning into a global debate with serious geopolitical consequences at stake. What WikiLeaks is doing is revealing this brutal fight for power, but, as the old saying goes, “when a wise man points at the Moon, the idiot looks at the finger.” Instead of looking at the finger-pointing to Russia, we should take a look at the leaks themselves. If democracy and transparency means anything today, we should say, let them leak!