Despite whatever you think about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, you have to admit – watching traditional news organizations like The New York Times back-pedal in their ‘classification’ of what Wikileaks really is, can be very fascinating.
This past week Julian Assange was granted bail in London (thanks to the support of many WikiLeaks supporters, including filmmakers Ken Loach and Michael Moore).
Bill Keller – Executive Editor of The New York Times – came forth with his opinion of Julian Assange by stating: “I don’t regard Julian Assange as a
kindred spirit. If he’s a journalist, he’s not the kind of journalist that I am.”
What kind of journalist are you, Bill?
Well, you’re the son of George Keller – a former chairman and chief executive of the Chevron Corporation. The same company which is guilty of some of the worst
human rights and environmental abuses in the world. George Keller’s popularity grew in his early career when he was one of the first major oil company executives to discover reserves in Saudi Arabia. In the 1980’s he oversaw a merger with Gulf Oil to form the Chevron Corporation in 1984. From 1964 to 1992, Chevron left over 600 unlined oil pits in the Amazon rainforest and ended up dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic pollution into rivers used for drinking water. To this day, it has resulted in birth defects and deaths from cancer to those living in the northern region of the Amazon. Keller senior was also there when Chevron enacted a violent repression against a peaceful opposition to oil extraction by hiring private military units to open fire upon protestors in the Niger Delta region.
In 2003, Bill Keller openly supported the invasion of Iraq. Let me repeat that: Keller openly supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Its no wonder he’s taking such great pains to redact vital information from the Wikileaks cables.
He labeled Paul Wolfowitz as a, “Sunshine warrior”. The same “sunshine warrior” who betrayed the trust of the World Bank Organization by reordering policies to fit in with the Bush administration’s neo-conservative ideals. Oh, and not to mention the arrangement of huge pay raises and guaranteed promotions for those who Wolfowitz was secretly sleeping with at the World Bank.
In 2005, Bill Keller defended Judy Miller – the same reporter who helped this country go to war in the first place. Miller, who got her story of weapons of mass destruction so wrong. Even Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell pointed to Miller’s story as a primary motive for the U.S. entering the war.
Speaking of Condoleeza Rice… she happens to be good friends with one David E. Sanger — the very person old Billy assigned to monitor and control the release of the Wikileaks cables through The New York Times. Even a recent report from GlobalResearch.ca pointed out that:
“Sanger is no establishment outsider. He sits as a member of the elite Council on Foreign Relations as well as the Aspen Institute Strategy Group together with the likes of Condi Rice, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former CIA head John Deutch, former State Department Deputy Secretary and now World Bank head Robert Zoellick among others.”
Am I saying Keller is an evil guy? No, I’m not. Am I saying that his personal ‘connections’ may be influencing his journalistic decision making? Absolutely. I’m arguing that he has a very narrow mindset when it comes to understanding the changing nature of journalism. People are sick and tired of mainstream media organizations reshaping, reediting and redacting news and information based on who their personal golfing buddies are. Keller might criticize Julian Assange for not being a ‘real journalist’, but maybe what we need are more people like Assange, not like Keller. People who are more concerned with allowing the one and only truth to be revealed, rather than some watered-down, makeshift version of it.