WikiLeaks Media Files: Are They Definitely Fox?

As a number of people are reporting, Julian Assange told John Pilger Wednesday that WikiLeaks has files on some media companies. Thanks to a PDF link made available by The Nation (see 12:05 update), here’s the exact quote from the New Statesman article in question.

If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, ‘insurance’ files will be released. They speak more of the same truth to power, including the media. There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organization and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

I wanted to look at the exact quote, because coverage of this claim has been conflated into “insurance files = 504 cables = Murdoch, News Corp, and Fox.” That is, the assumption is that some of the insurance files pertain to a subset of 504 cables that pertain to a broadcasting organization that given the mention of Murdoch and News Corp, must be Fox.

That’s not necessarily the case: after all, Assange appears to have talked about insurance files, some of which pertain to the media, and then discussed 504 cables on one broadcasting entity, and then mentioned Murdoch and News Corp. It is possible that there are 504 cables on a broadcast outlet — something like ABC, which has a habit of laundering intelligence leaks, or NBC, owned by a defense contractor. These cables might reveal something like the Rent-A-General’s program, first exposed by NYT. And there are files on Murdoch and News Corp. generally (which could include any of his properties worldwide).

Mind you, in its coverage of the issue, the Guardian (which as it points out, has access to all the cables) doesn’t exactly correct such a misimpression, if it is one.

WikiLeaks: Julian Assange claims to have Rupert Murdoch ‘insurance files’

Founder claims WikiLeaks has more than 500 US diplomatic cables on one broadcasting organisation

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, claimed today he was in possession of “insurance” files on Rupert Murdoch and his global media company, News Corporation.

Assange also claimed that WikiLeaks holds more than 500 confidential US diplomatic cables on one broadcasting organisation.

Speaking to journalist John Pilger for an interview to be published tomorrow in the latest edition of the New Statesman, Assange said: “There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

Assange refers to these specific cables as “insurance files” that will be released “if something happens to me or to WikiLeaks”.

The Guardian has published stories based on more than 700 of the cables and has access to all 250,000.

Which I find all the more interesting, in that it suggests the media involved — including the Guardian, NYT, and Norway’s Aftenposten (which obtained its own complete set of the cables) — all have seen what Assange considers the insurance files relating to Murdoch, if not Fox.

So what would be shocking enough about Fox and or Murdoch to consider it part of an “insurance” file?

  1. klynn says:

    So what would be shocking enough about Fox and or Murdoch to consider it part of an “insurance” file?

    The logical conclusion would be intent of operations. That FOX is an op perhaps?

    The bigger question…If those outlets have the cables do they not “owe” it to their readers and investors to seek out other sources to back up the info in the cables and publish the story? It’s competition and newsworthiness in one package.

    So, are we going to have to see if something happens to Assange to learn this story? Why make it insurance? It sounds like something the world needs to know now.

    • emptywheel says:

      Remember that News of teh World is in big trouble in the UK for having hacked the cell phones of a number of people, notably at least two of the princes. News Corp has been pretty actively covering up how high awareness of those activities went. And the editor who oversaw the reporters involved is now Cameron’s Director of Communications.

      But I don’t think it’d be that–because since the Guardian has had the lead on THAT story, I don’t think they’d be willing to sit on further news about it in cables if they found it.

  2. perris says:

    So what would be shocking enough about Fox and or Murdoch to consider it part of an “insurance” file?

    email correspondence undermining our government /election/with another government/person/entity

    that would do the trick right there

  3. klynn says:

    One more thought…

    I just wish WikiLeaks had documents regarding Mike Connell.

    I would want to watch who would call for the arrest of Assange after he announced having such evidence.

  4. Shoto says:

    While we’re on the subject, where are the files on the mega-zombie bank? I’ve been anticipating those like a four-year old waiting for Santa Claus…

  5. joanneleon says:

    The first time I read that quote, I had the same question.

    If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, ‘insurance’ files will be released. They speak more of the same truth to power, including the media. There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organization and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

    “There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organization…”


    “…there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

    FoxNews is a subsidiary of News Corp. If the “one broadcasting organization” he’s talking about is Fox News, why would he talk about them separately?

    The first media organization that came to mind, for me, was the BBC, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense, I think. I guess the reason it came to mind was that he called it a “broadcasting organization” and that made me think of a non-profit, not a for profit media corp. It ruled out the New York Times and The Guardian because they are print, and obviously they are two of the organizations Assange chose to work with so presumably he trusts them more than other media orgs.

    ABC and NBC are definitely companies to consider. And then again, an organization like Al Jazeera should also be considered, especially if we’re talking about an organization that would be the subject of US embassy cables.

    What would be shocking enough to make it into insurance files?

    The most obvious thing is the media phone-hacking scandal in the UK, which interestingly has popped up in the Guardian again in the past few days:

    How can Murdoch be handed Sky while the stench of corruption lingers?

    Phone-hacking scandal: Met shares NoW files with football agent’s lawyers

    Fresh phone-hacking document to increase pressure on News of the World

    This is the same one that I’m sure you’re aware of that first surfaced in July, 2009 and then blew up again in September, 2010, if I am remembering correctly. The ties to Scotland Yard, the Conservatives and Cameron, celebrities and royals, and Murdoch, give it all the elements that Assange would want in an insurance file, I would think.

    What else could be shocking enough?

    Attempts to suppress with or interfere with news reporting by the US could be shocking enough. Our government has a history of messing with Al Jazeera, right?

    Coordination with news orgs, plants within news orgs, Wurlitzer type stories could be shocking enough to a public who doesn’t realize that this is probably commonplace.

    • Anais says:

      Assange may have used “and” in one of at least two ways: 1.) to correctly give the impression that he has more than 500 cables referring to a media corporation separate from Murdoch and Fox, or 2.) to IMPLY that he has 500 cables on a different media corporation, but to throw listeners off the fact that Fox is the subject of all of them. Assange is a bit wily, so it may well be that Murdoch and Fox are the subject of all of them. But we shall see. I would love to hear what the subjects of all of these media-related cables are. What is so horrible that he is using them as insurance? Perhaps that more nefarious people than Murdoch are pulling the puppet strings?

    • emptywheel says:

      Ah, I see you were thinking along the same lines as me.

      Al-Jazeera is a very good suggestion. I have long wondered why they weren’t included on this dump, as they were on the last one. Plus, you’ve got the tie to the Qatari government.

      Which would be all the more interesting given how much the US govt has harassed al-Jazeera, seemingly as a matter of policy.

    • Humanist says:

      If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, ‘insurance’ files will be released. They speak more of the same truth to power, including the media. There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organization and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

      That original quote can be reasonably, directly, straightforwardly parsed as follows:

      1. The “insurance files” are the 1.4GB file (encrypted with an AES-128 key, and maybe compressed beforehand) that Assange reportedly sent to a large number of persons (about 1,000 persons worldwide, if I recall).

      2. The phrase “they speak MORE” indicates that they are in addition to, not part of, the documents that already have been released and/or published by WikiLeaks and its media partners.

      3. The phrase “power, INCLUDING the media” indicates that these additional files include but are not limited to the media as centers-of-power.

      4. Among the additional files that include the media, there are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting corporation AND (in addition, not in repetition) there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp (which owns Fox News). Fox news is another broadcasting corporation in addition to and not the same as the “one broadcasting corporation”, which could be Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or other broadcasting corporation.

      5. These “504 US embassy cables” could be in addition to the 251,000+ cables that constitute all of so-called Cablegate file that was given to WiliLeaks media parters.

      • skdadl says:

        Yes, I’m pretty sure that the “insurance file” is separate and that no one outside of WL core people can read it yet, although many possess it. You can go and download it for yourself, but you can’t read it until WL releases the key.

        • Humanist says:

          Yes. Thanks for the clarification.

          Any “insurance file” that includes secret documents that reflect badly on “one broadcasting corporation” and on News Corp (owner of Fox News) will also reflect badly on mainstream media, establishment media, corporate media, embedded media, all of which is compromised to some degree.

          In addition, any so-called “insurance file” (a/k/a “poison pill” and “thermo-nuclear device”) would lose much of its insurance value, its toxicity, its firepower, if it was part of the Cablegate file or any other file released or published by WikiLeaks or its media partners, including NYT, Guardian, Spiegel, El Pais, and the French paper.

          There may well be something that Assange held back for insurance in the worst-case scenarios, knowing full well that his media partners do not share the same values and priorities as WikiLeaks, and that they will betray him after they have used him to serve their own vested interests.

      • kgb999 says:

        Pretty much agree, but two points

        on #1: The original “insurance” file was torrented almost immediately (and almost immediately trojan-laden dummies started popping up – check the hash!). There are likely tens of thousands of copies of that floating around. I think the “1000 sites” is around the number of content mirrors that popped up when Wikileaks was under systemic corporate attack (an interesting attack vector for several reasons, BTW). These statements seemed to refer to something different. I took Assange’s statements to indicate that Wikileaks has created *additional* insurance files distributed more quietly.

        on #2: That is an important point. It almost seemed to be implicit that the insurance files contained stuff that isn’t a part of the data already released to the media partners. But there really are two levels here. The “media partners” have the whole lot – unredacted. Between themselves and Wikileaks they have released a very small subset to the public. So to an extent, the government *knows* at least part of what he’s threatening to release.

        And it’s also important to note that the “insurance” files almost certainly contain records in unredacted raw form. That is kind of a big aspect of the threat – if the US Government doesn’t allow Wikileaks to release it responsibly as a media organization they are perfectly willing to release it as the anarchists who’s ranks their philosophy grows from.

        Which brings up another (kind of unrelated) point – Assange has kind of made himself odd-man-in-the middle. The current dynamic still leaves the media with the same comfortable space they always enjoy of having complete knowledge while controlling the bits the public see to match the narrative they are paid to advance … with a sword of Damocles hanging that sooner or later the public will likely see what they chose not to convey. Many in the open information community think it’s bullshit. And as this drags out, the case is starting to look stronger for a traditionalist approach more than Assange’s “third way” formula. (Heh, I guess we could call him almost Obamalike. ;-)

        • Humanist says:

          Thanks for the clarification and information.

          The driver of conventional media is their business model, their economic viability, their survivability if not profitability. WiliLeaks has a radically different business model, a radically different economic viability. Contextualizing raw information is labor intensive, and requires much intellectual capital. Redacting raw data also is labor intensive. The current situation created by WikiLeaks is like five media outlets going to Niagra Falls to fill their cup for a drink of water.

          With the exception of news outlets, such as Democracy Now!, that are totally supported financially by subscribers and with no corporate (quid-pro-quo) donors, all news is biased, slanted, tilted to serve the vested interests of the powers-that-be, the power-elite, the establishment, the status quo. To expect otherwise is naive.

          We live in a Kautiyan world where powerful nation-state seeks empire and domination over other nation-states. But the nation-states who win such a struggle ultimately lose, because they have to be more corrupt, vicious, and violent than all their self-declared “enemies” and “rivals”, they have to out-czar the czar like Stalin did. The question is: Are these other nation-states enemies of the people, or rather, are they rivals of the power-elite for greater power?

          • skdadl says:

            I just have to say this b/c I am so personally annoyed atm. If the public-schoolboy cattiness (Americans: read frat-boy) that we’ve seen from the Guardian over the last couple of months is the “intellectual capital” of the conventional media, then give me raw data, WikiLeaks and bloggers and tweeps.

            I started working as a book and magazine editor in 1968, and I just have no patience with the pomposity that “professional journalists” and editors on several continents are spouting right now about their “skill sets” in an attempt to differentiate themselves from WL. As in any other world, some of the journos really are good, but most of them are mediocre and some are gawdawful. And yet the president of the U.S. presumes to draw some kind of legal line between the hacks and a much more talented publisher on a basis I don’t recognize after forty years in the biz — and many of the hacks are happy to go along with this politicization of the very definition of what they do and who they are.

            • Humanist says:

              I concur wholeheartedly with everything you said.

              The “intellectual capital” varies in quality and quantity across the conventional media and over time.

              Unfortunately, the journalists, editors and publishers with the most talent and most courage are rarely rewarded with the highest prizes of their profession. As everywhere else in business, those who play the game and go along to get along are the ones who are promoted in their career trajectories.

              The talking heads, pretty-faced presenters, public pundits, and professional experts-on-tap form a stable of abject, servile, obsequious, sycophantic, village idiots in terms of genuine intelligence, knowledge and integrity.

        • waynec says:

          Any release of the secret insurance files will have to be done so as not to have the releasee be brought up on charges, no?

  6. Phoenix Woman says:

    Don’t forget the News of the World phone hacking scandal! NewsCorp’s been trying to protect Uncle Rupert from this for the past four years, but the firewalls between him and the scandal have been taken out one by one.

  7. tjallen says:

    Maybe members of Murdoch’s worldwide reporting staff provide info to intelligence agencies, or maybe some intelligence agencies have embeds in the reporting staff. Some reporters could be on the payroll of other government agencies. The news organization could have stories which governments have requested be held back, or requested be spun a certain way. There could be political bombshells too, like requests and payments for candidates’ support in the Murdoch media during elections, foreign or domestic.

    Surely someone tracks RM wherever he goes, from event to event, and some intersection of RM’s itinerary with the diplomatic corps of countries he visits, galas he attends, dinners and parties where he speaks to ambassadors, etc. Tracking of what he’s up to, as a mover and shaker of worldwide importance. Maybe intelligence on whom he sees and where, from terrorists to lovers.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      Because they don’t possess political ambitions like the Murdoch family does. Uncle Rupert burns with envy over Berlusconi because he essentially owns and/or control all Italian media and the apparatus of Italian government. Murdoch wants to do Silvio one better by controlling the media and political apparatuses of multiple countries.

  8. Kassandra says:

    I definitely get the feeling that Assange’s threats of release if he is harmed is the only thing keeping him alive right now.
    As we know he is VERY concerned about the US getting it’s hands on him

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Was a post on rawstory yesterday (I think, I’ll see if I can find the link) that the honey pots’ lawyers were same ones who helped Swedish govt participate in USG rendition program.

    • richard says:

      You are correct, as Assange asserts:

      The sole reason Assange still draws breath is the prospect of PNAC exposed:
      GOP-Dem-Fox Teaparty World Terror Inc…..most sensitive in its Goldman- Citi-BOA-Likud gonads: Our owners.

      Killing an honest man like Assange now is too soon. Time must be bought by Gietner-Fox-Boehner-Obama to get their coverup(s) straight if-when the deadly dangling lucrative US Terror Gov. gonads actually get slit open-exposed to the planet.

      Assange knows this. The US media cover-stories are in high speed flux pending discovery of extent of potential PR damage. Then Julian can be Gitmo’ed, tortured without release and/or murdered.

      Then “safe”… Julian’s bloody severed head shall be brandished in US media (US Terror Corps mouthpieces) then elevated to boogeyman status seated at the right hand of GOP’s Texas contractor Saudi OPEC “brother” Osama Bin Laden, NSA-CIA’s oil war 911 trigger-asset..

      ..except Julian will be dead or imprisoned whereas Bin Laden is comfy at his NSA U.S. deficit taxpaid penthouse in Langley , VA.

      PNAC’s Billy Kristol , Karl Rove, Rupert Murdock , Bohener and Dick Cheney are scripting the “news outcome” today while hunting Assange calc of damage spin then for Barry Bush Obama to recite into US media cameras….after dragging Julian Assange’s corpse to “justice.”

      This is how truth is murdered in GOP-Dem-Fox’s Teaparty of Terrorism Inc. Worldwide….much ado over that “broken Swedish rubber.”

      • Humanist says:

        Many acronyoms and much lingo are new to me, such as PNAC. My research assistant, Google, usually serves well, and is a good place to begin.

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was an American think tank based in Washington, D.C. that lasted from early 1997 to 2006. It was co-founded as a non-profit educational organization by neoconservatives William Kristol and Robert Kagan. The PNAC’s stated goal was “to promote American global leadership.”[1] Fundamental to the PNAC were the view that “American leadership is both good for America and good for the world” and support for “a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity.”[2] The PNAC exerted influence on high-level U.S. government officials in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush and affected the Bush Administration’s development of military and foreign policies, especially involving national security and the Iraq War.

        • richard says:

          Thank you very much for the excerpt:

          The rather begnign descriptors bear false modesty for PNAC’s authorship of today’s domestic and worldwide terror family. Oil is PNAC-GOP’s primary power hence its prime objective financing all its other supplementary business power objectives with Earth’s most massive oil cash flow-BP, Exxon, ergo Texas.

          PNAC’s oil war and terror expansion accomplishments are indeed massive. Iraq belongs to PNAC and next so will Iran- new mapped Texas-Likud co-colonies.

          Houston, Texas is PNAC’s oily capitol. Washinton is the butt of PNAC’s disuse and express contempt for the USA…thusly UISA deserving of ever more terror attacks assigned as needed from PNAC-Fox News.

          The Cheney Energy Task Force is (are) PNAC’s owners and its Board of Directors. PNAC chartered terror-for-profit started by mobilizing the US to its oil purpose stating ” America needs a new Pearl Harbor” then its Bin Laden Saudi oil-ally subcontractor-perfected it on 911.

          PNAC gains deadly planetary strength today.

          “Terror, torture, oil and resource war as practiced by todays NSA-CIA-FBI under the rubric of “Homeland Security.” Thati remains PNAC’s police state domestic lucrative funding plan: Its so-called “strategic interests” fully enforced with lethal domestic anthrax mailings to Democrats which remain permanently “unsolved” by FBI-NSA-CIA design, their domestic terror enforcement plus Fox Terrror Inc’s PR.

          PNAC contractors continue raking in billions from PNAC’s invention of terror now successfully waged against, on and in the USA. Re. jump in oil terror-price. We taxpaid their currently massive police state as their lucrative “war on terror” -component A in PNAC’s new century of war fake WMD oil war justification.Each GOP contractor is a GOP award beneficiary “fighting terror” while GOP Teaparty’s campaign funders re, Koch Brothers and the entire OPEC US oil industry.

          All are more powerful today than any natioanl or private army in history by far…and much more more deadly-being US deficit taxpaid. re. Blackwater-Dyntech.

          You may also wish to view PNAC’s GOP and Blue Dem components-agents under the milquetoast label “C-Street Family” if you wish to search that terror club. Those guys hold zero allegience to USA and entire allegience to OPEC-Texas and sucession of their confedearcy of business terrorists from the dying USA. Also see Gov. Rick Perry -TX.

          Their allegience is 110% OPEC financial in the PNAC-OPEC Crime Family in concert with Fox News.

          Teaparty, Likud, Saudi are GOP’s subsidiary contractors and allies of world dominance. Those groups bear no allegience whatsoever to former USA whatsover. In fact they celebrate their old Civil War confederacy 1861-1865 with contempt for the USA in enormous celebratory pride in today’s PNAC’s (their) new confederacy now quite successful 24-7 sold by Fox News Teaparty et al.

          …All GOP Fox Teaparty Terror Inc’s are PNAC , proudly openly confederate planning their exit from dead USA leaving their oil war deficit for the dying oil-less dead host Blue States-PNAC’s almost accomplished plan.

          The former USA is merely their deficit financier. Boehner is now our defacto president (PNAC)-Obama is his warm supplicant- make no mistake of that bedrock fact.

          GOP Darrel Issa (PNAC) is about to demonstrate that it is illegal to be both Democrat and President concurrently-watch/ re. Bill Clinton’s frontal legal assault by Gingrich GOP-PNAC…..otherwise PNAC makes Obama stop breathing-hence he complies.

          Of course all of this is just a big expensive deadly joke….crazy conspiracy theory stuff as we slip further under PNAC’s terrorist boot.

      • waynec says:

        Julian would be imprisoned, like Bradley Manning. Force-fed drugs and allowed no contact with the outside world.
        A fate worse than death.
        God bless Manning and Assange.

  9. richard says:

    Julian Assange is a man for all seasons.

    May god almighty belss and protect him from corporate Satan that is GOP-Fox Teaparty Terror Corp operating our castrated actor Barry Bush Obama and operating the USA fascade, the sham corporate-government-by-terror.

    Julian Assange is our Daniel Ellsberg, Sir Thomas Moore incarnate.

    God bless you Julian standing on the knife edge of US Terror Tyranny in-process of bludgeoning all meaningful truth.

    Know Dear Julian how many millions…perhaps billons..of decent people in this world love and respect you:

    Julian Assnage -Man for all seasons

  10. ApacheTrout says:

    The idea that Assange is withholding damaging files as a threat to those who would harm him seems at odds with WikiLeaks goal “bringing important news and information to the public.” Is Assange really saying that he won’t release these files if he’s left alone?

      • MDCitizen says:

        It seems to me that the “insurance” cables would be separate altogether from the ones already provided to the Guardian et al. After all, once Assange gives them to anyone he is at the mercy of that recipient and no longer “master” of his own fate. I’m inclined to doubt that the main subject is Murdoch/Fox. Really, what could be said about them that would shock anyone.

  11. joanneleon says:

    Marcy, off topic:

    We’re two weeks from the SOTU and there have been numerous signals that this administration is willing to put Social Security on the chopping block.

    That’s a big f’ing deal. It’s about as big a f’ing deal as it gets for Progressives and Democrats.

    Where is the leadership among the leading voices in the Progressive movement? Among prominent Democrats who stand against it?

    Where is the organization? I know that you guys coordinate on other things, and have alliances. Why are you not rallying for everyone to come together, stand shoulder to shoulder and tell this administration, in no uncertain terms, to keep their hands off of Social Security?

    Why are there no demonstrations, even small ones that could be symbolic but still significant? Where are the progressive voices getting themselves onto the media? Where are the coordinated efforts?

    Have the people with the most readership and influence in the progressive blogosphere and in the grassroots organizations become so compromised and afraid to lose access that they won’t get out there and stand against the President?

    Do we really expect Harry Reid to be the champion on this? Are they f’ing kidding me?

    What is going on? As each day passes, I find myself more and more astounded at what going on.

    [ end of rant / frustrated outburst ]

    • richard says:

      Barak Bush Obama pre-emptively serially surrenders us. It’s Barry’s only job….except his shining “bipartisanship” euphemism.

      Barry merely re-packages our dead Social Securiy futures for re-sale at Treasury Note auctions to Bejing…margin-markups to Goldman-Citi-JP Morgan-BOA’s…our Likud Bank CEO’s….”god” as Roy Blankfien explains.

      Meanwhile, Barry’s president John Boehner cocktail-hosts fundraisers for Social Security’s scheduled funeral. Boehner structures Barry Bush Obama’s explanatory shining speech words to us….manna, yes hope for Barry’s hopeful targeted sheeple.

      Boehner & Barry’s corproate owners-operators calculate CEO bonuses netted by former Social Security dissolution, yeilding GOP Fox Teaparty Terror Corp’s allocable Terror Corp donor margins, minus new oil war opportunity allocations against Iran’s new Exxon-BP-Tel Aviv colony…

      …Accounting EBIDA details forthcoming from Roy Blankfien, Jamie Dimon, using Fox-Likud prsecution of US deficit taxpaid invasion of Iran = net proceeds from no-bid GOP Contratctor (re. Halliburton-Blackwater-Dyntech et al donors) oil war spoils in new “East Tel Aviv” remaining bonuses TBD-to be determined.

      We are lucky having the natty dressing GOP Fox Teaparty suit-Barry Bush Obama to keep our spirits up during the bludgeoning of our dead Social Securiy CEO corproate slush-fund.

      Barry is spokesmodel #1 at US Terror Corp subsidiary of GOP Fox Teaparty Terror Inc. They let Barry breathe and dress-up playing president reading shining words to supplicants.

      How can I resist Barry’s squinty stare into the empty vastness of “intellectual” helplessness?

  12. eCAHNomics says:

    My vote goes with those who think Fox is both an operative for USG & a propaganda outlet for same.

    • eCAHNomics says:


      Don’t think anybody much even knows who they are, let alone cares. I don’t know what their listenership is, but would guess it’s orders of magnitude lower than the corp media.

      • hotdog says:

        They play a major role in politics in the United States. They’re a freaking pied piper for the left facade.

        • eCAHNomics says:

          And a fave whipping boy for the wingers.

          I get that. I still don’t think they’re important enough in either role that revealing their secrets would provide protection for Assange.

    • hotdog says:

      When I said left facade, I’m talking about the administration, not you. So please don’t take it personally, and please don’t rush to judgement.

  13. socks says:

    I wonder if WL has anything about how news of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s kidnapping by the US Government was covered up by the American news agencies?

  14. Phoenix Woman says:

    Some tidbits for you —

    From a Bloomberg (yep, another media mogul with political ambitions) story on the phone hack scandal:

    U.K. prosecutors said Dec. 10 they don’t have enough evidence to file further criminal charges over allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World, after witnesses refused to cooperate or denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. This followed a New York Times report that suggested phone hacking was more widespread at the British newspaper than a previous criminal case showed.

    Why was this? Maybe because Murdoch stuffed the witnesses’ mouths with gold:

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Group News­papers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists’ repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public ­figures as well as gaining unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators.Today, the Guardian reveals details of the suppressed evidence, which may open the door to hundreds more legal actions by victims of News Group, the Murdoch company that publishes the News of the World and the Sun, as well as provoking police inquiries into reporters who were involved and the senior executives responsible for them.

    Murdoch of course denies all this, but if Wikileaks has proof of his involvement, suddenly this blows the case wide open.

    • bgrothus says:

      from above “. . .journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public ­figures as well as gaining unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills.”

      Lizbeth Salander lives.

  15. skdadl says:

    Which I find all the more interesting, in that it suggests the media involved — including the Guardian, NYT, and Norway’s Aftenposten (which obtained its own complete set of the cables) — all have seen what Assange considers the insurance files relating to Murdoch, if not Fox.

    EW, what am I missing? Why do you think the Guardian piece suggests they’ve seen the insurance files? This was the only part I didn’t follow.

    I agree with you and joanneleon @ 7 that, if JA was speaking carefully (and it’s always possible that conversation isn’t as precise as writing), he’s making a distinction between an organization he doesn’t name and the two he does, but damned if I know why or who.

    • emptywheel says:

      Because of this syntax:

      Assange refers to these specific cables as “insurance files” that will be released “if something happens to me or to WikiLeaks”.

      The Guardian has published stories based on more than 700 of the cables and has access to all 250,000.

      The Guardian, at least, seems to think that Assange’s reference to US embassy cables is a reference to a subset of the 250,000. And while they don’t say, “we know which cables he’s talking about,” the comment about the cables seems to suggest they do.

      • skdadl says:

        Well, but, it was my understanding that the “insurance file” would be released by all the people who downloaded it (everyone was invited to) when the key to that encrypted file was released. Iow, the Guardian may have it, as thousands of other people now do, but no one can read it yet.

  16. lsls says:

    “Which I find all the more interesting, in that it suggests the media involved — including the Guardian, NYT, and Norway’s Aftenposten (which obtained its own complete set of the cables) — all have seen what Assange considers the insurance files relating to Murdoch, if not Fox.

    So what would be shocking enough about Fox and or Murdoch to consider it part of an “insurance” file?”

    You can email Aftenposten and ask them to look for it. They are asking for people to give them themes to look for. If you need translation, I can help, but they all speak English.

    [email protected]

  17. Rayne says:

    What would be damaging?

    To find out that News Corp. is an asset of the U.S. — just like Erik Prince’s Blackwater was an asset of the U.S.

  18. toketeeman says:

    You know, I’m fascinated by this story. How many people in history have been truly able to say to the world’s powers “Oh, yeah, touch me. I dare yah. Go ahead – and I will screw you all bigtime.”? Damn few.

    • hotdog says:

      I am too. I have a hard time believing that any information can be that damaging though. People are so apathetic and this country is so under the thumb if the MIC, what could happen? The crooks run the show. What’s the difference between Holder and Gonzales? Hey, that sounds like it could be the lead line for a great joke. Maybe, the punch line could be something like Gonzales’ boss thought the Constitution is just a piece of paper, but Holder’s knows it’s just a piece of parchment.

    • emptywheel says:

      Not ethnocentrism.

      Technically a “broadcast” outlet is one that “broadcasts” over the airwaves, not one that distributes content over satellites and cable networks. I didn’t consider CNN for the same reason.

  19. TarheelDem says:

    What would be shocking enough to be “insurance”?

    To find out that Fox is an Israeli op and that the US knows and tolerates it.

    To find out that Fox is an Australian op and that the US knows and tolerates it.

    To find out that Fox is connected with the financiers of al Quaeda and the US knows and tolerates it.

    Yes, it being a US op is the most obvious possibility, but it is not the only one. But it’s consequences would affect every Fox correspondent located in hostile countries. Which raises the very interesting question: does Fox have any foreign correspondents at all?

  20. kgb999 says:

    I’m going with Al Jazeera for the “504 cables”. The Bush government was obsessed with them – even to the point of taking shots at their journalists during critical stages of the Iraq conflict.

    I’ll bet there are all sorts of things we did that don’t look that great for the nation that brought the world a constitutional free press. But I’m guessing we saved our worst for Al Jazeera.