The ongoing importance of Wikileaks

My weekly Guardian column: The secret CIA files appeared just before Christmas. One detailed how CIA operatives could maintain cover, using fake IDs, when travelling through foreign airports. Israel’s Ben Gurion airport was said to be one of the… hardest to trick. The other document, from 2009, was an assessment of the CIA’s assassination program. It…

Free speech in a time of terrorism

Yesterday’s massacre in Paris at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is… shocking and unforgettable. The… publication may have been frequently racist against Muslims and a whole host of “enemies” but the right to offend is a key attribute in a democracy. This doesn’t mean we have to applaud editors and writers who trade in racial…

Defending the rights of whistle-blowers in our age

My weekly Guardian column: Freedom is difficult to resuscitate once extinguished. Australian attorney-general George Brandis recently chastised journalists for criticising his government’s new laws aimed at preventing reporting about “special intelligence operations”. Because he’s a culture warrior brawler, Brandis damned the “usual suspects of the paranoid, fantasist left” but also “reputable conservative commentators” for questioning…

News flash; debating Israel and Islam is healthy sign of democracy

This Friday the Lebanese Muslim Association has organised an event titled, “From Iraq to Gaza: The Politics of Fear”. I’ll be speaking alongside many others. Daring to be critical of the dominant narrative over Palestine or terrorism has upset Rupert Murdoch’s resident race-baiter Andrew Bolt. There’s also a “story” in today’s Murdoch Australian that features…

Condemning media propaganda over Russia and Ukraine

The Western media prides itself on self-criticism but the fact remains that very journalists routinely challenge the inherent power structures of government and the press. RT host Abby Martin this week damned Russian incursions into Crimea and meddling in Ukraine (she maintains her job thus far) and in this interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan she…

Why the US truly fears Ed Snowden and Wikileaks

It has nothing to do with endangering national security (ignore the bleating of far too many corporate journalists who simply repeat talking points from their intelligence sources) but the profound shame of US hegemony being challenged and revealed. Here’s Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore in Foreign Affairs: The U.S. government seems outraged that people are…