Informed sources say that the current deluge of Wikileaks documents will continue for another week and grow in significance.
Leading US human rights lawyers Leonard Weinglass and Michael Ratner have joined the defense team for Julian Assange and Wikileaks. US officials are employing cyber-warfare and prosecutorial steps to deny any safe haven for the Wikileaks operation with a fervor comparable to their drone attacks on Al Qaeda havens in Pakistan and Yemen. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange was placed on Interpol’s "most wanted" list as US authorities intensified efforts to suppress the whistleblower organization’s deluge of classified US diplomatic cables. Assange’s location was not immediately known. His choices are to turn himself in or be tracked down by local police. If outside of Sweden, he could face extradition on charges to stand trial there. Or the US could seek his extradiction on charges of espionage or theft of classified documents.
Two cyber-attacks have been reported against WikiLeaks servers this week. The Justice Department is seeking indictments on espionage charges from a grand jury quietly impaneled this week in arch-conservative Alexandria, Virginia. Assange is in London, facing rape and sexual harrassment charges in Sweden, which he denies. Extradition could be sought by the United States at any time from either venue.
Why is this drama important? Not because of "life-threatening" leaks, as claimed by the establishment, but because the closed doors of power need to be open to public review. We live increasingly in an Age of Secrecy, as described by Garry Wills in Bomb Power, among recent books. It has become the American Way of War, and increasingly draws the curtains over American democracy itself. The wars in Pakistan and Yemen are secret wars. The war in Afghanistan is dominated by secret US Special Operations raids and killings. The CIA has its own secret army in Afghanistan. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s entire record in Iraq was classified. And so on, ad nauseam.
And what is the purpose of all the secrecy? As Howard Zinn always emphasized, the official fear was that the American people might revolt if we knew the secrets being kept from us. In Rolling Stone‘s expose of McChrystal’s war this year, one top military adviser said that "if Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular." McChrystal himself joked about sending out Special Forces units to kill at night then having to "scold" them in the morning.