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Kinda Answer to Greg Palast

Kinda Answer to Greg Palast

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Published by HomoCarnula

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Published by: HomoCarnula on Apr 15, 2013
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04/15/2013

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Greg Palast is a
 New York Times
bestselling author and fearless investigative journalist whose reports appear on BBC 
 Newsnight
and in
The Guardian
. Palast eats the rich and spitsthem out. Catch his reports and films at  www.GregPalast.com ,where you can also securely  send him your documents marked, "confidential".
 
New York
 
 – 
The cover for my meeting with the WikiLeaks chief with the weirdly white hair 
[in which way is the haircolour / style important for an article about WikiLeaks /Assange? Learn how to journalist in a not-yellow-press way]
was brilliant. Last week, I was misled into believing I’d be interviewing a member of Iceland’s parliament, the poetess 
Birgitta Jonsdottir .Which, initially, seemed about asexciting as watching some doofus on YouTube pretending to make his cat talk.
[a “fearless investigative journalist” who doesn’t know
or d
oesn’t care
about the
important political role of Jonsdottir, but describes her as “poetess”? *Nice* indirect
implicature (google it)]
 But Jonsdottir had come to New York in defence of an American political prisoner, BradleyManning,the inestimably courageous source of the documents released by WikiLeaks. If Manning was willing to sit in a steel cage for the rest of his life for the truth, I could handle afew Nordic couplets in a downtown church.But they switched Vikings on me. It was actually a set-up for me to meet with KristinnHrafnsson,the spokesman for WikiLeaks
 – 
 
whose hair is as icy white as Julian Assange’s.
 
[in which way is the haircolour / style important for an article about WikiLeaks /Hrafnsson? Learn how to journalist in a not-yellow-press way]
I couldn’t be told the name of my true interviewee until he’d successfully gotten past US
Customs agents, because the last time Hrafnsson had tried to get into the States, he was
 blocked at New York’s Kennedy Airport and bundled back to Iceland – 
despite possessing both an invitation to the UN and a valid passport.
Hrafnsson was crucial in planning WikiLeaks' release of Manning’s documents. But the US
State Department knows that blocking an UN invitee is a no-no under the treaties that allowedthe UN General Assembly in New York.
So, the border cops, US Customs, told Hrafnsson the passport he’d given them was “stolen”,
though they confirmed his identity. In other words, they were claiming he stole his own passport from himself. Kristinn said, dryly, "They could come up with better stories, no?"
 
 
 Above: Birgitta Jonsdottir (left, via )and Kristinn Hrafnsson (right, via ).
Of course, Assange, co-
founder of WikiLeaks, couldn’t meet with me directly because he’s in
 – 
 – 
 
in the basement of Ecuador’s Embassy in London.
 
[Basement? You’ve been there? No? Uhm…]
 Should Assange ever step out of his diplomatic safe house, he assumes, not without reason,that, his next address will be a cage at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And let's face it; Julian wouldlook terrible in orange.
[Trying to be witty? People died in Guantanamo. They surely appreciate that kind of 
humor. Why don’t you go there for a
holiday?]
Hrafnsson and I quickly cut out of the church and found a place where we could load up oncheap bottles of red and work over ideas for getting Manning out of prison. Or, at the veryleast, not forgotten by a world in which most stories tend to last for a maximum of 140characters.
[Because Meta/hypertext and Meta/hyperlinks (in the linguistic meaning) is something a
 journalist doesn’t know about? :3)
 
Did we also talk about, say, new documents? Well, I'm sure you can get the completetranscript of our meeting from the US Department of Homeland Security. (I had to laugh:when we left the bistro, a white limo pulled up and offered us a ride. Then a black one
 – 
 which we took. I wish to thank the folks at Langley for a sweet cruise.)
 
I can only tease y
ou with, “Yes, there’s more.”
 
And when I see them, I’ll show them to you. But for now, I am writing to publicly eat shit, or 
humble pie. To retract, recant and apologise to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
 A pro-Assange protester outside London's Ecuadorian Embassy. Photo by Henry Langston.
Three years ago, I accused Assange of jumping in front of the cameras to steal the limelightfrom the real hero,Bradley Manning. It seemed to me that Assange had narcissisticallysnatched away the public celebrity which would have saved Manning
 – 
just as notorietyhelped win public support for  Daniel Ellsberg,the CIA agent who released the Pentagon Papers
,the secret reports of America’s losing the War in Vietnam.
 I wrote, Who the hell is this guy with a silly silk scarf swanning in front of cameras?Meanwhile, Manning, in his cell, stripped down to underpants by his captors, is ignored whileAssange sucks up the accolades and attention.In fact, Hrafnsson assured me, both he and Assange had thought that WikiLeaks would hardlyget a mention. They assumed all the attention would focus on the content in the files. Theyassumed that US news outlets would be first and foremost focused on the video of  the killingof the Reuters reporters and other civilians in Iraq by US helicopter gunships.
Last week, I watched that
video again. It’s horrific – 
but vital: to look atthe journalists dying on a machine gun's video screen.But of course, the press spun the story away from military murder into a story about theleaking itself. People like Joe Klein and stooges like Christiane Amanpour 's houseboy, James

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