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…

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…

Australia's role as dutiful US client state

My weekly Guardian column: Back in July, Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten delivered a speech… at the Australian American Leadership Dialogue at the New York academy of sciences. It was full of motherhood statements – “We are bonded, we are blood cousins” – praise for Israel’s “innovation” (no mention of the Palestinians) and clichéd rhetoric about…

How the West has always backed brutal Sri Lanka

My weekly Guardian column: The Sri Lankan Navy band was busy last week, learning the tune to Waltzing Matilda. They played it to welcome Scott Morrison, the Australian immigration minister, who was visiting to launch two patrol boats donated by the Australian government. A photo of the moment,tweeted… by journalist Jason Koutsoukis, showed Morrison sitting alongside…

How the NSA wants total population control

My weekly Guardian column: William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance. On 5 July he spoke at a… conference… in London organised by the…

Three problems with the Fourth Estate

The blandness of the mainstream media, including public broadcasters, is all about the narrow level of “debate” allowed on issues of the day. Australian intellectual and academic Scott Burchill has written the following short essay on the problem and possible solutions: In what is misleadingly called the ”˜age of culture wars’ there are three aspects…

Why journalism is broken part 432554

Fascinating and disturbing results (via The Wire) that reveals how so few US reporters want to seriously challenge the power, reach and illegality of the state: Compared to ten years ago, today’s journalists believe exposing government hypocrisy is more important than ever. Yet, they are less approving of the use confidential documents to expose that…

US and UK mission to destroy Wikileaks (the documents prove it)

A stunning work from the new investigative site The Intercept – founded by Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, the articles already speak for… themselves; critical, punchy and unafraid to take on power – reveals the British and American attempts to destroy Wikileaks and attack its supporters. As a backer of Wikileaks since the beginning,…

Why the Wikileaks Party visit to Syria was so delusional

My weekly Guardian column is published below: The sight of Australian citizens associated with the WikiLeaks party… sitting and chatting… with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad… during their… recent… “solidarity… mission”, along with their comments about the regime, is a damning indictment on a party that ran a… dismal election campaign… in 2013 and has never bothered to explain… its subsequent collapse. For WikiLeaks supporters…