Hearsay, pure and simple

March 13, 2011 at 11:02 am (anti-semitism, cults, internet, Rosie B)

Here’s John Pilger really pissed off with the liberal press:-

On 3 March, the Guardian announced that Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks would be making “an investigative thriller in the mould of All the President’s Men out of its book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. I asked David Leigh, who wrote the book with Luke Harding, how much DreamWorks had paid the Guardian for the screen rights and what he expected to make personally. “No idea,” was the puzzling reply of the Guardian’s “investigations editor”. The paper paid WikiLeaks nothing for its treasure trove of leaks. Assange and WikiLeaks – not Leigh or Harding – were responsible for what the Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, has called “one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years”.

[To do these parasites justice, they did have to read masses of fragmentary documentation and make some kind of sense of it.]

The Guardian has made it clear that it has no further use for Assange. He is a loose cannon who did not fit Guardianworld, who proved a tough, unclubbable negotiator. And brave. In the Guardian’s self-regarding book, Assange’s extraordinary bravery is excised. He becomes a figure of petty bemusement, an “unusual Australian” with a “frizzy-haired” mother; he is gratuitously abused as “callous” and a “damaged personality” who was “on the autistic spectrum”. How will Spielberg deal with this childish character assassination?

[Actually, the book says a lot about Assange’s courage, brilliant brain and indifference to comfort and material possessions.  When I’d finished reading it I admired Assange more than I had before.]

On the BBC’s Panorama, Leigh indulged hearsay that Assange did not care about the lives of those named in the leaks.

Assange‘s indifference to the lives of those named in the link turns up on p111 of the book.  The Afghan war logs in Wikileaks’ possession mentioned “names of informants or those who had collaborated with US troops. . .”

I [Declan Walsh, one of the Guardian team sifting through the leaks] told David Leigh I was worried about the repercussions of publishing these names, who could easily be killed by the Taliban or other militant groups if identified. David agreed it was a concern and said he’d raised the issue with Julian, but he didn’t seem concerned. That night, we went out to a Moorish restaurant, Moro, with the two German reporters. David broached the problem again with Julian. The response floored me. ‘Well, they’re informants,’ he said. ‘So, if they get killed, they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.’ There was, for a moment, silence around the table. I think everyone was struck by what a callous thing that was to say.

In the event the names were redacted.

As some commenters in the thread point out, Pilger misuses the word “hearsay“.  David Leigh heard these remarks of Assange with his own ears.   It wasn’t reported to him by someone else, which is what “hearsay” means.  There were three other witnesses there who heard this as well, and in the thread David Leigh names them.  However Pilger has been indulging in “hearsay” himself since he presumably is going by what Assange has told him what was said at this dinner.

As always with Assange and Wikileaks, there is a lovely irony in this.   The creed of St Julian says “We believe in raw data, unmediated and unchannelled.  Cover us with data, oh Lord, so we can save our souls.”   In this instance Leigh is the man who holds the raw data bleeding and dripping in his hands, Pilger has had it cooked and processed.

Pilger also says:-

As for the claim that he had complained of a “Jewish conspiracy”, which followed a torrent of internet nonsense that he was an evil agent of Mossad, Assange rejected this as “completely false, in spirit and word”.

[Pilger, once a courageous reporter who would travel  to war zones, evidently hasn’t been around the internet much.  It’s perfectly possible that you will be attacked as an evil agent of Mossad because your leaks don’t deal much with the insanity-inducing obsession, Israel, while you agree with a view that has a fairly broad consensus, that the world is ruled by a Zionist entity via its partner, the USA.]

Pilger does not address the most damning charge against Asange’s political and moral judgement in the Panorama programme,  his dealings with the obsessive anti-semite and general loon, Israel Shamir.  A useful summary of this association can be found here by Nathalie Rothschild, though no doubt many will find her surname suspect.

The words “Julian Assange” are as reliable a nutter magnet as “Israel and Palestine“.  In the Liberal Conspiracy thread on Private Eye’s revelations about Assange’s belief in a Jewish media conspiracy people turn up to say that (a) Private Eye must have been hoaxed or is telling lies; (b) Assange was only saying what’s true anyway.  The same calibre of commenter turns up at John Pilger‘s thread saying (a) David Leigh was telling lies; (b) what’s wrong with killing informants anyway?


  1. SteveH said,

    I thought Pilger’s article was brilliant.

  2. Rosie said,

    Well you would, wouldn’t you?

  3. SteveH said,

    “Well you would, wouldn’t you?”

    How typical of you Rosie.

  4. Dr Livingstone I Presume said,

    `As some commenters in the thread point out, Pilger misuses the word “hearsay“. David Leigh heard these remarks of Assange with his own ears.’

    And then told others about it without any other evidence. That is precisely what hear say is you donut.

  5. Rosie said,

    No, you’re wrong there, Dr Liv. If I and three other people were in a pub and say that bloke Moat said, “I’m going to kill my bitch of a girlfriend and her new boyfriend,” a court would accept that as evidence. If I said, my mate Kevin told me that Moat is going about threatening his girlfriend, that would be hearsay evidence coming from me.

    I mean, if three people were at dinner with Cameron and reported back that he said “I’m going to turn this rebellion in Libya into a full blown civil war.” which is what you seem to believe, would you call this “hearsay evidence” ie unreliable?

  6. skidmarx said,

    Well-written article with an amusing tone. Pity the facts are against you:

    In the Liberal Conspiracy thread on Private Eye’s revelations about Assange’s belief in a Jewish media conspiracy people turn up to say that (a) Private Eye must have been hoaxed or is telling lies; (b) Assange was only saying what’s true anyway.
    Now let’s find the last comment summing up the pro-Assange position:
    So I read the article three times now. Nowhere does Assange say there’s a Jewish conspiracy. Please, people, exercise your literacy and READ this article. Don’t just skim the headline and then zip through without paying attention.

    The article never quotes the utterance. It never even ALLEGES the utterance. It is a cheeky hit piece. A slippery bit of cloudy wording that doesn’t even support the allegation inferred in the headline. Just when I thought people were getting smarter. Maybe there’s no hope anymore.

    If Assange had SAID it, it would be quoted here in it’s entirety. He didn’t so it isn’t.

    Let’s see now:

    Accusation of rape … CHECK!
    Accusation of antisemitism … CHECK!

    All we need now is an accusation of Satan worship, or maybe that he’s a vampire. He is kind of pale and quirky after all.

    Pitchforks and torches at the ready, everyone! Let’s teach a lesson to any potential future person who would reveal the dirty secrets of governments and corporations.

    I wonder if they could possibly be unrelated?

    Checking out the OED definition, it would seem that the first meaning is that employed by Pilger, the second employed by Rosie. I have sympathy with her on the linguistics, though the attempt to smear Pilger ,Assange and anyone who might think that challenging the power of imperialism is a better idea than kowtowing to it as “nutters” isn’t really worthy of much consideration.

  7. Dr Livingstone I Presume said,

    Rosie: you sneaked in a couple of extra oral witnesses that could corroborate what was said. That becomes evidence as long as the three are not conspiring. One man reporting what another said is hearsay without corroborative evidence.

    Did you see Jim Denham spring to the defence of Cameron on the other thread. Funny socialists you lot.

  8. jim denham said,

    Just goes to show that not only is Assange a nasty sexist and sexual predator (which doesn’t necessarily mean his treatment by the British and Swedish authorities is OK), but he’s also a man who cares nothing for the lives of courageous Afghani democrats – presumably, because like the loathsome Neil Clark (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/aug/10/keepthesequislingsout) and the Haw-Haw figure Galloway, he considers them “traitors” or (in Haw-Haw Galloway’s word) “Quislings” , who deserve to die.

    This, combined with Assange’s anti-semitic conspiracy theories and his use of, and support for, the fascist “Israel Shamir” may account for why liberals and the ‘Guardian’ have “no further use for” him. But of course the Assange-groupie Pilger (a once-great journalist, now a sad and pathetic figure), still slobbers over the preening Aussie asshole.

  9. Rosie said,

    Actually Skidders I don’t think Assange and Pilger are nutters. Assange is a bit of a fantasist and has some crappy ideas about how the world works, but I wouldn’t call him a nutter. His Wikileaks site, and the idea of it, a safe house for data from powerful organisations, are very important. But there are a raft of people who aren’t sane about Assange. He’s supposedly a world saving messiah and any criticism of him can only come from satanic forces, and they support that view against all evidence and reason.

  10. charliethechulo said,

    Skidders: is PE (not noted for being part of The World Zionist Conspiracy), lying then? Here’s what PE editor Ian Hislop (via Sunny Hundal) wrote:

    Assange goes off deep end – blaming Jews and Guardian in Private Eye

    by Sunny Hundal
    March 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This is published in the latest edition of Private Eye (buy a copy!).

    The article is titled, ‘A Curious Conversation With Mr Assange’ – and it is the phone version of a horrible car crash. (hat-tip @jamesrbuk)

    While I support WikiLeaks as an entity and an idea, Julian Assange seems to have gone off the deep end.

    I’ve managed to scan the article:


  11. modernityblog said,

    Whatever Assange is or is not, is besides the point.

    The real issue for antifascists and antiracists is, why did Assange consciously associate with the Far Rightist, Israel Shamir?

    What was their connection and how much was Shamir involved in things?

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