Mr Abrams is "a prominent First Amendment attorney and Constitutional law expert who represented the New York Times in the New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713 (1971)) Supreme Court case that established the 1st Amendment rights of Ellsberg and the NYT in publishing the Pentagon Papers."
Unfortunately it appears as if he has lost a bit of his sharpness since those days, or perhaps it's the paycheck from the WSJ that has made him swallow the Red Herring Pill. Remember, this is what I am studying: the use of weaponized art [propaganda] as a means of controlling thought and debate.
Mr Abrams spends a great deal of time in this op-ed discussing the last 4 volumes of the Papers, which contained the kind of diplomatic material Wikileaks released and was withheld from the initial publication of the Pentagon Papers on sensitivity grounds. He then goes on to build a case on the Wikileaks diplomatic cables leaks and drags in the Espionage Act to vaguely hint that Julian Assange may be a scoundrel taking advantage of our magnanimous legal code.
Ok, so it's the WSJ and you do expect them to use their op-ed pages to push their political masters' agenda; it's widely-known and long-term for them. You'd also expect such a legal beagle like Mr Abrams to be current on the legal opinion that the EA can't be used against Julian Assange (which is why they are pressuring Pvt. Bradley Manning to say that he was coerced so they can use a computer crime law against Julian). What is more interesting is that this supposed authority with the credentials of the Ellsberg case behind him is so compromised/enfeebled/decayed that he can't spot the shifting of the spotlight and debate to the cables.
Please keep in mind that an inquiry HAS been made into these allegations in Sweden against Julian and the worst that they can figure they can hold him for is punishable by a $700 fine. He hasn't been charged with anything else, nor has he even been ACCUSED of anything more. Now explain why he has a $200,000 bond and Interpol involvement. Even if you don't support Wikileaks you can see that something is wrong and there is much more involved here than meets the eye.
The original material published by Wikileaks began with the Apache Helicopter Gunsight Film published in response to the Pentagon's stonewalling of Reuters for 2+ years in their attempt to cover up the willful massacre of two Reuters journalists and a dozen civilians in 2007. The Apache Gunsight Film was only one item in the material that was later published as the Afghan War Diary, detailing the same outright lies, mis- and disinformation, manipulation and coertion that the Pentagon Papers revealed in the buildup of the Vietnam War with the Afghanistan and subsequent Iraq police actions (to this date Congress has not officially and legally declared war on Iraq).
After the release of the War Diary is when these spurious charges of sexual misconduct were first brought to media attention by the illegal leaking of that information by a Swedish prosecutor with a craving for publicity and a willingness to front for the Pentagon© after the Australian Federal Police declined to bow to the USGOVT© and go after Julian Assange for publishing the material, sending a strong letter of support for Julian's civil rights (hey Aussies - i am admiring you muchly lately, and to your Mr Rudd: good show, good show).
When the Pentagon© and USCongressCritters© started darkly muttering about "extraordinary intervention," assassins, bounties and other heinous and deeply anti-American thuggish tactics and fishing for allies in its goal of punishing Julian Assange, Wikileaks published the Diplomatic Cables. I viewed this as a response and a warning to the Pentagon© to back off the murderous mutterings; perhaps the War Boyz didn't get the significance of the monstrous encrypted "insurance" file [archive link-1.4GB download] posted by Cryptome on the Wikileaks website early on in the release of these documents [the insurance.aes256 file is to be kept until and if Wikileaks must use the "nuclear option" in its defense; the password to this file will be then widely disseminated using all available media channels]. It is obvious from the release of the Cables that they are not what is in the encrypted file...
So now we are watching the shifting of the topic and subject of the debates from "WTF is going on in Afghanistan and Iraq really?" to "he (sic) shouldn't have published those cables." Mr Abrams had the NYT, Washington Post and by extension the 1st Amendment protections on free speech behind him; Wikileaks is being bad-mouthed as "not exactly real journalism" by old-skool hacks terrified of losing their deity status and expense accounts pretending to be real journalists.
Wikileaks has not released 97% of the diplomatic cables they currently have access to, and have redacted a great deal to prevent exposure of legitimate secrets like troop movements and identities of spies. That means that (a) not all of it was leaked initially, (b) portions of it may be held back for years because they would harm legitimate US national security interests, and (c) that the purposes of the leaks were to show exactly what lies the US and other governments have been telling the public, particularly in relation to the "war on terror". Many US officials from both major parties have repeatedly stated that Wikileaks dumped all the information all at once, when in fact nothing of that sort has happened. Wikileaks released the cables to five major papers to redact for sensitive and potentially-harmful revelations.
All the personal issues, attacks, innuendos and discussion about Julian Assange is smoke being used to obscure the relevant and pertinent issues that Wikileaks revealed in the real leak, the War Diary. The moral debate about Julian's motives and methods, the titillation of the charges that have already been dismissed once, the actions and reactions from the release of the Cables, the debates about 1st Amendment... every single issue being focused on by the current major media is only a sideshow. It is the Magician's misdirecting hand motion. It is The MacGuffin. In computing or audio engineering, this is known as the signal-to-noise ratio [s/n]. It is also known as the Purloined Letter Principle. It is a way to hide or obscure information in a mass of irrelevant and distractive data. Data is not information.
It is there to distract you from the War Diary. It is there to distract and drown out the information contained in the War Diary revealing deliberate lying and manipulation on the part of the USGOVT© [ particularly Dick Cheney, George Bush and their neocon buddies] in the manufacture and continuation of an illegal war for the profit and benefit of multinational corporations. The War Diary makes a farce out of the Department of Homeland Security's raison d'etre. It calls into question the reliability of the media officially sanctioned to cover this illegal war. It reveals and supports the UN and international Red Cross's findings of continued illegalities all throughout this manufactured war. It supports many ominous conclusions as to the collusion and coertion of oil money in the politics of the Middle East. It is a time bomb.
So if you are debating these issues with friends and others, remind them that the topic of debate is not if Julian is a bad or a good man; inform them that the information available in the War Diary regarding the manufacturing of an illegal war that is destroying thousands and thousands of innocent lives and young American lives, which has bankrupted the country and thrown hysteria into the world markets, far outweighs any of the lesser debates and distractions being thrown at them to cover up and obscure the base issue. You might also bring some attention to the getting-so-obvious-it's-like-a-steven-spielberg-movie collusion of the Press© and the Pentagon© (or a movie by Barry Levinson [IMDB link]).
BTW... in case you've been reading the debate about the cables and not the cables themselves, here's a few of the nuggets people have located so far that justify the release of this information:
- Bribing, threatening, and then withholding millions in aid to Ecuador and Bolivia so they'd agree to the Copenhagen Accord [but Saudi Arabia gets a free pass because we need their oil].
- DynCorp, funded by USA taxpayers, bought young male sex slaves for Afghan cops in a "batca bazzi" party.
- They're moving prisoners out of Guantanamo to foreign prisons.
- Under-reporting and misreporting deaths in Afghanistan, both civilian and military.
- Diplomats know that the Saudi Arabians are the primary donors to Al-Queda.
- The US warning Germany to keep quiet about Khalid El-Masri, kidnapped by the CIA, kept in prison for months, tortured, then dumped somewhere in Albania when they figure out he's not the one they want.
- The CIA pressured Spain into dropping investigations into the killing of José Couso [a Spanish journalist] in Iraq by American troops, dropping court investigations into the CIA's extraordinary rendition and torture at Guantanamo Bay.
- The US pushing for and manipulating support for Monsanto in Europe.
- The US pressuring Sweden to prosecute the Pirate Bay.
-Shoving USA-style IP laws onto Spain.
- The Shell Oil Company claimed it had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to every movement of politicians. Ann Pickard, then Shell's vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa boasted that the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.
- China was indeed behind the attacks on Google.
I should email a copy of this column to Mr Abrams and suggest he either stop sucking at the teat of the WSJ/Pentagon© or get a personal nurse to help him with his alleged incipent Alzheimer's. But then again... I am sure the NSA already has [ominous thunder roll] :D