Saturday, December 11, 2010


Assange and the Noble Peace Prize. Absurd? Not at all according to my associate, Ed Diamond. 
Diamond, is an investigative reporter based in Paris for Focus, America’s most watched TV new magazine. I quote from Diamond’s blog:
I’ve just heard from an excellent source on the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo that the committee is seriously considering nominating jailed Wikileaks head, Julian Assange, for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
Word of that possibility has already touched off a storm of controversy between members of the committee, the Norwegian Government and top members of the Obama administration.  The State Department and White House have been pulling out all stops. Rumours are the CIA will also become involved. At 3 A.M. Washington time today, an outraged Hillary Clinton personally phoned the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Soltenberg to warn that if the Committee goes through with the nomination, the U.S. will boycott not only that particular award, but all future Nobel Prize ceremonies.  She also hinted darkly about possible economic sanctions (almost 25% of foreign investments in Norway are made by U.S. companies.)
If Assange is in prison and unable to attend the ceremony, my source on the Committee says they will make use of the same empty chair, that symbolized the absence of Chinese Poet  Liu Xiaobo when he received the award on December 10.
Many, of course, will be shocked by any comparison between the anarchic, self-promoting Assange and the highly respected Chinese dissident.    
But as my source on the Committee put it just an hour ago: “Of course, we realize how controversial this decision is, and how many people may be shocked by it.  On the other hand, consider the fact that the last recipient of the Peace Prize was President Obama, based solely on his lofty utterances, not on any actual deeds.
“Now, when we look for deeds, what do we find: America is still spending a trillion dollars a year building its military might and still has tens of thousands of troops and mercenaries deployed across Central Asia, not to mention clandestine and other forces involved in conflicts around the globe.
“Also, let’s not forget how quickly Obama kowtowed to Israel’s Prime Minister Nethanyahu’s refusal to suspend construction of settlements on the West Bank. So much for an American brokered peace in the Middle East! 
“So, now” said my source on the Committee “we’re looking at Assange.”
There is no question that some of the material leaked by Assange could be detrimental to U.S. diplomacy and security. There is also no question that many of the issues revealed by Wikileaks had not been previously unreported. On the other hand, their content has certainly been judged important enough to be the obsession of the world’s leading media over the past few weeks.
The documents have demonstrated the miasma of duplicity and deceit that underlie much of U.S. policy today. The fact, for instance, that the U.S. continues to pour enormous human and material resources into Afghanistan, even as American diplomats continue outraged by the pervasive corruption and dithering of the feckless leaders the U.S. is supporting. Ditto: Pakistan—only there U.S. forces have operated much more clandestinely. 
-Or the fact that, despite years of U.S. protests, that the Arab countries which are supposedly key U.S. allies in the Middle East—Saudia Arabia and the Gulf States—are still the major source of “charitable” funds that sustain Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups, sworn enemies of the United States and Israel. At the same time, despite what they are telling their own people, the incredibly wealthy despots who run these countries are quietly assuring American diplomats that they will be delighted if the U.S. were to take military action against Iran.
-Or the fact that, leaders in Yemen who have received impressive U.S. military aid--  supposedly to battle Al Qaeda in Yemen--have in fact used those American resources against their own local opposition groups, blatantly ignoring the continued protests of American officials.
 Question: Who is the Obama administration most concerned about reading these revelations? The Pakistanis? The Afghans? The Saudis? The Yeminis? Or the American public?
Hard to argue that venting such information can only fuel those demanding a change in current U.S. policies—policies that continue to be based on hypocrisy, fear and military force.
“Thus,” sums up my source on the Nobel Committee, “The reason we want to give the Prize to Assange and Wikileaks.”
More as this story develops.
Ed Diamond.

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