8.12.10

Quarried Queries: Is Assange an outsourced hero?

Julian Assange gets arrested in London for a crime he says he has not committed and not for a crime he proudly admits to. Is it a diplomatic coup? We have to be naive if we think Assange is working in his individual capacity. The man starts getting sensitive information, without being a full-fledged spy, leaks it out selectively, is slapped with charges of rape and sexual impropriety in Sweden, which he denies. An Australian, he has managed a global conglomerate and reports refer to him as an ‘internet activist’ when he is hacking websites and should be tried for cyber crimes. The accusation of sexual crimes is a diversionary tactic.

With perfect timing, we get to hear of other countries hacking websites of their enemy nations or getting out sensitive information. Isn’t this commonplace? I read a report that even us common folks have our internet activity monitored so that we can be bombarded with information or get blackmailed because of what we surf. There was a case a while ago of a man who was arrested only because he was looking up some sites for information on jihad.

Coming back to Assange, what will his arrest mean? Nothing. He might not get invited to the royal wedding because of that little leak about Prince William, but otherwise it’s all kosher. And I mean kosher!

Heroism is being retailed quite easily; in fact, it is outsourced. What you see about such sensitive information is the probability factor. Such theories are designed to create fear and comply with the filibustering by a few big nations. As soon as the information was out, it was the United States that took a moral stand. Hillary Clinton went on to apologise as a détente tactic. Does this not sound ridiculous? Has any country gone into a sulk because of the revelations?

The information is grist for the gossip mills and it is pertinent to note how such banter about leaders is suffixed with the underlying thesis of paranoia. Such fears merely give another reason for the western establishment to make cyber exposure seem like a homey industry where, by default, their own security is seen to be at risk. The White House had issued a statement: "Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government. President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal."

The US Ambassador Anne Patterson saying that they had asked Pakistan to return fuel from a nuclear reactor confirms the support it gives the country based entirely on expediency. This really is a replication of what had happened during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. The US created a counter-movement in the Taliban and then began to imagine how it was biting America from the caves.


Karzai’s paranoia is a precious little gem. It gives the west one more reason to protect his poor people. So protective are they that Ms. Clinton even told the Afghan leader what to expect. Is this a leak or did they know what would be revealed? Karzai blaming the British and US governments for the drugs trade is the cry of a man denied his booty. Obviously, he does not get to cash in on what would be a natural mafia that is protected by several nations.

We already know that some countries manipulate others. Since the current global scenario circumambulates round the Islamist principle, one needs to be a bit cynical regarding the information on how to deal with Pakistan. Most of the cables released are not direct quotes but in the words of the western diplomats. How is one to believe the then US ambassador, Anne Patterson, when she says that the Director General of the Inter Services Intelligence had been in touch with the Israelis on possible threats against Israeli targets in India? He had asked her to convey to Washington that he had followed up on such information.

A cable signed off by her states, “He said he would meet his Indian counterpart any time, noting that it was critically important that any threat information be shared with him. He emphasised that ISI was doing everything possible to reduce the possibility of an attack on India.”

The ISI virtually runs the country and has knowledge of, if it is not in collusion with, terrorist groups. Why was Pasha particularly keen on passing on information about possible Israeli targets in India? It undermines the rest of the Indian citizens as well as the intelligence authorities.

This works beautifully for the projectionist principle fed by paranoia. In another assault, she states, “India’s defence readiness strikes fear in Pak.” Senator John Kerry, who chairs the foreign relations committee, came into the picture and talked about the need to “‘challenge old suspicions”. However, according to him, “He (PM Yousaf Raza Gilani) was amenable to the idea of a rapprochement in the India-Pakistan relation, but expressed concern that the public would not support the idea.”

Since when have government policies, especially foreign policies, been based on a hand count of its citizens? Patterson quotes President Asif Ali Zardari as saying: “Capability creates a fear.” Just as the Taliban’s capability makes the West afraid?

The Saudi king called President Zardari the greatest obstacle to Pakistan's progress. The person least surprised would be Zardari himself. Saudi Arabia is known to be a supporter of the Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.

The attack on Iran is again not something that should be seen as out of the ordinary. Today, Iran is the biggest bugbear for western policy-makers. With its chest-thumping declaration of nuclear self-sufficiency, it has really put its hands in the lion’s mouth. That too is a strategic warfare where you push buttons without pushing any real buttons.

India has been pretty much left out of the damaging leaks, so with some complacency the spokesperson of the Indian ministry of external affairs announced, “We have a multi-faceted and forward-looking strategic partnership with the United States and there is a regular, open and candid dialogue between the two countries, on a number of matters of mutual interest.” He added that even if some dirt on India showed up, the Indian government would not get into a verbal duel on the issue.

Interestingly, no one has. Is the world really a cohesive corporation of back-scratching interests or is this a canny con job? Given the exposures of what might be deemed classified data, one ought to be applauding such disclosures.

There is a small problem here besides the dubious designs mentioned already: How can such information help people, which is being touted as the motive? If knowledge about political machinations empowered the populace, then there would be no wars.

Assange has written, “WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?”

Is it only about a story? This ‘let’s click and know the truth’ helps a small number of people in the world. Besides, politicians are not fools. They are aware of espionage and hacking and will not put up the real stuff for scrutiny unless there are ulterior motives. This scientific journalism can be misused by the scientific politician who will make certain to reveal misleading information. How authentic is the story then?

Assange has also called himself an underdog because although many mainstream publications have carried the cable leaks, he is being targeted. It is unfortunate, but then people who draw cartoons, make films, write books are targeted as well. The underdog persona undermines the scientific sturdiness. It is again a delusional paradigm. He says there is a lot more to come out and that the cable archive "has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If anything happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations”.

He voluntarily submitted himself to the authorities because of an arrest warrant for rape charges knowing that he could be tried for his damning exposes. Why did he do it? Britain plays the Pentagon game and he knows that. This works well as drama. But the questions remain: How does exposing deception realise into counteracting it? Are the people who have received the encrypted leaks likely to fudge them? Why are the other news sources not releasing any further information?

And, most important of all: Is Julian Assange the outsider or the insider?

- - -

(c) Farzana Versey

- - -

An abridged version appeared in Khaleej Times

31 comments:

  1. I noticed the BBC using a term I hadn't noticed before today, 'hacktivist'.

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  2. TV, brilliant! I have been suspecting that the wikileaks is a canny con job for a few reasons --

    1. All the documents released so far seem to be helpful to the US's agenda, and only 1200 documents out of a few humndred thousand documents were released and now wikileaks has been demolished, so we can never know if these documents that the new York times and other establishment outlets released were picked by upright journalists (very unlikely) or the US state dept. Picked the items these agencies could release, while at the same time shutting down all other unofficial sources

    2. For folks who follow bit torrent and paid attention to the digital signatures of the wikileaks files, they got poisoned by some entities, so there is a lot deliberately injected disinformation in what's on the web.

    3. With wikileaks down and assange in jail for not wearing a condom, the US and it's allies control all the narratives about wikileaks from now on.

    Frankly, none of the stuff from wikileaks is new or interesting -- the real reason for shutting down wikileaks is that it exposes the long-term plans for these western countries and can damage their current control of the global narrative.

    For example, "al qaeda" was a term fabricated by the USA for its contacts in the ISI during the cold war days. The USA deliberately and willfully airlifted these "al qaeda" people out of kunduz into pakistan at the beginning of the post 9/11 afghan war. During this entire period, usa was working with the ISI, which is controlled by the pak army, and was recruiting people like David headley who the US knew to be working for the ISI and the pakistani army.

    "Al Qaeda" is a monumental American lie to protect their covert assets from the cold war. If there is no al Qaeda, there is no reason for the USA to stay in Af-Pak, which is why even though ISI sponsored terrorists create havoc across the world (responsible for terrorist acts in 31 countries, last I counted.)

    He US's current problem is that their nice relations with ISI and the Pakistani army has been eroded but that does not affect the US....because the US's goal in the region is to have pliant proxy regime like the Pakistani army permanently in power in Af-Pak.

    This is why the US insults karma and hates him, because the afghan president has the temerity to speak his mind and stand up to the US bullying.

    If at all the US gets out of af-pak by 2014, it will just shift base to Yemen or Iran.....the US will not just leave the region while china is in ascendance as that leaves the US at the mercy of their non-existent allies in Asia.

    -Al

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  3. Assange and wikileaks is real, which is why the governments are running scared. All the stuff in movies like "mission impossible" where the hero's aunt and uncle are arrested for drug smuggling while the hero is on the run is for real, as we can see from this illegal arrest of Assange under false charges.

    -Al

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  4. "the US hates karma..."

    I absolutely detest text editors that think they can spell better than me..that was supposed to be

    "..the US hates karzai..."

    -Al

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  5. FV, while the cretins running the country seem to want to tie up to the USA, the USA does this to THE top Indian diplomat in the USA, Ms. Meera Shankar. This is just a plain and deliberate insult, like they did to the Iranian clerics who landed in USA back in 1997 and were all subject to a full body search -- the clerics were so incensed that they just took the plane back to Iran.

    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-12-08-india-diplomat-pat-down_N.htm

    India-US relations are on the downswing compared to India-EU and India-GCC relations, and that is a good thing.

    -Al

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  6. " If there is no al Qaeda, there is no reason for the USA to stay in Af-Pak, which is why even though ISI sponsored terrorists create havoc across the world (responsible for terrorist acts in 31 countries, last I counted.)"

    That sentence was incomplete, it should say:

    If there is no al Qaeda, there is no reason for the USA to stay in Af-Pak, which is why even though ISI sponsored terrorists create havoc across the world (responsible for terrorist acts in 31 countries, last I counted), and yet somehow, the USA claims it has no other choice but to work with the Pakistani army, and their overt reason is that the US supply chain for the army runs through pakistan, and so the USA is "forced" to cooperate with the Pakistani army. So we are to believe that this so-called superpower does not have the werewithal to make the Pakistani army behave even when they control the purse strings of the Pakistani army, and the Pakistani army controls the purse string of Pakistan itself? uh huh, sure.

    The ISI was a joint creation of the British Intelligence and the USA from the time of India's independence, and until their recent falling out, US and UK govts. both worked tightly with the ISI and even provided the Lashkar-e-toiba and other groups a free run of the UK...until the rabid jihadis do what they do best and bit back with the London bombings and other acts of bestiality.

    -Al

    -Al

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  7. FV, BTW, even the name "Al Qaeda" means "The (data)base", and it refers to the database of covert ISI contacts the US worked with in the 80s and 90s.

    After 9/11, the US was in a fix -- they got the pakistani army to cooperate but then the "enemy" was actually working for the ISI, which was in turn run by the Pakistani army. So these "al qaeda" people were the ones from the database of contacts that were working for ISI under cover of what intelligence agencies call "plausible deniability", while the ISI pretended that it was a "rogue division" of the ISI..a lie that has been repeated by the USA because it was a very convenient lie for the USA and the Pakistani army.

    Besides, the US's primary goal is to have an excuse to have a military presence in Asia, which took priority over fighting the Global Offensive Against Terror (GOAT) or "War on terror" for the uninitiated, and so these morons in the US army trusted their "friends" in the Pakistani army, and only found that their friend was acutally in bed with China all these years. Now, the Chinese have gotten the pakistani army in their bed, and this leaves the pakistani army to have a free hand with the USA, which is exactly where we are now.

    In the end, it is the Pakistani citizens that are being fornicated by both the USA and the Pakistani army and elite pakistani citizens that work with Pakistani army to control pakistan -- these two groups of pakistanis are the one that are supporting the jihad crowd.

    Here is the best part: the academic dumbos in the USA that write US policy for pakistan want to educate these people (as in put them in school and make them do homework) who are already waving an AK-47 and willing to kill anyone who is not "purely islamic"....just goes to show that you can have all the money in the world and still be an idiot.

    -Al

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  8. FV, I do not understand the difference between the Mafia tactics and the current tactics of threatening the safety of Assange's son in order to get to Assange.

    http://tinyurl.com/29xse7f

    Link about JA's son.

    -Al

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  9. 'TV, brilliant!"

    FV, Did not mean to call you a TV :-S That was supposed to be "FV, Brilliant!" but did not notice the auto-spelling-correction mode was enabled for some reason.

    -Al

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  10. Dion:

    Yeah, thanks. I know a lot of people who will be happy they won’t get tapped for money or for late payment of bills!

    Al:

    I want to know which liberal publication will take this piece of mine.

    Anyhow, thanks for the loads of information. I do not, however believe that Karzai can stand up to the American authorities; he may occasionally put up an act.

    Re. Assange being for real, it seems like a reality show. The allegations of rape are diversionary; I will not dismiss them only because of his other exposures.

    I do not understand the difference between the Mafia tactics and the current tactics of threatening the safety of Assange's son in order to get to Assange.

    While it is low, why would you expect it to be any different?

    I am afraid I am being short and cryptic but we seem to agree on most issues on this one :)

    PS: It is ok for typos; I make many in my comments and I do not that the TV cannot be brilliant. Been there, done it!

    PPS: So, you cannot sign in with an a/c, but do use your nick in the username slot, please.

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  11. BTW, did anyo9ne notice my photo-art at the top right sidebar?

    Not quite art but I think the message I am conveying is clear.

    Dion: I know you miss that tree-woman, so apologies :)

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  12. No apology needed, FV.

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  13. "FV: So, you cannot sign in with an a/c, but do use your nick in the username slot, please."

    Farzana, Sorry for posting anonymously...it is bad manners -- but I am just a lazy person :-/ I shall sign up for another Al account before I post here again...it is not like it costs money.

    For publishing this, did you try Asia Times? The problem is that regular media establishments will not publish anything against the grain, as they will become a replacement for Assange...this sort of thing happens so often that it is sick.

    Also, I was not making any statement on the truth/falsehood of the charges, as obviously this is "he said,she said" territory, but the charges were filed a couple of years ago, when wikileaks actually got the info (Sgt. Bradley is currently in prison for leaking all the documents), and for a place like sweden where the people are personally empowered to be in control of their sexuality, it would be difficult to get a woman to consent to anything she does not want to. In any case, the woman who filed charges against Assange is as much a pawn here as Assange's son, with Wikileaks and Assange as the target for destruction. Just see how easy it is to destroy the hard work of a private citizen fighting for public interest, and how easy it is to sell rumours of moral depravity about anyone with such ease.

    Saw your watercolour and the first thought to cross my mind was "That is a good summary of my life so far in pictorial form....even the bit about the dog watering the tree of my life". Sign of a true artist when art is instantly personalized...

    Ok, last post as anonymous. I will get myself a new account once I stop hating my life, such as it is.

    Thanks for your patience,
    -Al

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  14. Assange is shaking up the status quo and the powerful are feeling a little bit uncomfortable. I'm looking forward to more leaks. Something tells me the juiciest leaks will never reach us. The main stream media buffers will be working overtime.


    Here's a piece from The New Yorker, June 2010.

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  15. Hi Farzana, AI,

    Interesting take on Assange and WikiLeaks, Farzana. I too might have characterized it as 'brilliant;' but there's a Brit nuance to the word that I haven't quite mastered . . .

    >>Saw your watercolour and the first thought to cross my mind was "That is a good summary of my life so far in pictorial form....even the bit about the dog watering the tree of my life". Sign of a true artist when art is instantly personalized...<<

    Predictably, perhaps, for me, it brought Shakespeare to mind. From As you like it, in the Forest of Arden, enter Orlando and Jaques:

    Jaques
    I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone,

    Orlando
    And so had I; but yet for fashion's sake, I thank you too for your society.

    Jaques
    God be with you: let's meet as little as we can.

    Orlando
    I do desire we may be better strangers.

    Jaques
    I pray you, mar no more trees with writing love-songs in their barks.

    Orlando
    I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading them ill-favoredly.

    Jaques
    Rosalind is your love's name?

    Orlando
    Yes, just.

    Jaques
    I do not like her name.

    Orlando
    There was no thought of pleasing you when she was christened.

    Jaques
    What stature is she of?

    Orlando
    Just as high as my heart.

    Jaques
    You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been acquainted with goldsmiths' wives and conned them out of rings?

    Orlando
    Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions . . . .



    Mark <------ christened figuratively, as far as he knows :D>

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  16. FV, so here I am with a propah id....can't recall the last time someone asked me "do you have some ah dee?" :-)

    Mark, never read the man Shakespeare though I have nodded my head at the right time while wearing fake-eyes-open-spectacles for many hours with groups of people that could repeat every verse. Having said that, I would like smack this Jacques dude in the face for being a killjoy...and I will stop here :-)

    Al

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  17. FV, the reason I recommend Asia Times is that is run by the Chinese, so they would have a vested interest in publishing such stuff...always send your articles to the enemies of the topic of the article :-)

    -Al

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  18. FV, But seriously, Asia Times does publish well-researched stuff, even if it is against the grain. They publish guys like Pepe Escobar, and I think you write much better than that conspiracy nut job.

    -Al

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  19. Dion:

    Thanks for the link...you know it is the juicy bits that worries me, not for what they will reveal but that they will soon be forgotten.

    Al:

    There are far too many pawns here and even many more kings and much checkmating.

    Re. the publication of this piece, it was a rhetorical query, though of course I am thrilled to bits that you think I write better than Escobar. Drat!

    PS: I merely asked you to use a nick. Stop making me feel like some testy matron at the dorm asking for your ayyaayo dee...

    PPS: Glad to know that you stopped hating your life in a little over 8 hours :) That's the way I like it.

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  20. Mark:

    As you like it! In fact, the portion in the context was brilliant :) Is it always that hard for Americans to follow British nuance, when we Indians are slaves to it?!

    That said, I assume a thank you is in order.

    Al:

    About the photo-art - not a watercolour, alas - I think the political can be the personal. Small piece of advice - stay away from dogs with a full bladder and find a different source of liquid replenishment. You are just feeling mopey...

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  21. FV, re: the Escobar comparison, I just say that because he is the one guy I can never understand. He has his facts right but his conclusions are always loopy.

    -Al

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  22. "About the photo-art - not a watercolour, alas - I think the political can be the personal. "

    FV, so it was a political fotu-art re: the recent fall of Indian mainstream media. Thanks...will look at it with fresh eyes.

    "Small piece of advice - stay away from dogs with a full bladder and find a different source of liquid replenishment."

    Re: the first, no can do...that is just a recipe for the pooch to empty said bladder in the house :-) and secondly, never liked Morarji Desai or his choice of beverage. Fermented molasses sounds more healthy and inviting.

    " You are just feeling mopey..."

    For a moment, I thought you were accusing me of feeling up one of the seven dwarfs (but then realized that Mopey was not one of them, though Dopey was)....but you are right as usual.

    -Al

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  23. >>That said, I assume a thank you is in order.<<

    Au contraire, Farzana . . . :)

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  24. Farzana,
    This is not about Assange and WikiLeaks. It is about what Wikileaks has exposed - that we know so far as published by MSM (I am looking at Guardian's site)
    The links are published in my priority of importance :
    1> Watch China and US having fun at Copenhegan Summit . And yess, India played the footsie too. Way to guys in screwing up and making our planet more inhabitable .
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,733630,00.html
    2> Vive la Coprocracy - Pfizer now - could the sotries in any of the out-sourced clinical trials be different :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/09/wikileaks-cables-pfizer-nigeria?DCMP=EMC-thewrap08
    3> Yes Prime Minister (for Mr. Brown) :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-cables-trident-nuclear-us?DCMP=EMC-thewrap08
    4> Corporocracy again :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-cables-shell-nigeria-spying?DCMP=EMC-thewrap08
    5> BTW, in case you thought Gaddafi was just a nut-case - a lesson in "balls squeezing" :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-gaddafi-britain-lockerbie-bomber?DCMP=EMC-thewrap08
    6> Arab Street on Lebanese Resistance :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-saudi-arab-invasion-lebanon?INTCMP=SRCH&DCMP=EMC-thewrap08
    7> Yemeni Subservience (Cloned by Pakistani establishment - you just about need to search / replace Yemen by Pakistan wherever it occurs ) :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-yemen-us-attack-al-qaida
    8> UK - less than a poodle :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-cyprus-rendition-torture
    9> "Arab street" at it again - this time Iranians :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cables-saudis-iran
    10> UK bureaucracy at it again - wondering if the UK parliamentarians are asleep :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-cluster-bombs-britain?DCMP=EMC-thewrap08
    11> And oh, Gemans too :
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,733860,00.html

    More to follow. Stay tuned fellas.
    And yes, Please feel to keep debating whether Assange is/was a zionist implant.

    Cheers,
    Mahesh.

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  25. Addendum to my earlier comment....
    On a lighter note - I would've loved watching an incensed Putin (incensed at being referred to as "alpha dog") challenging the American Ambassador for a "on the karate mat" settlement of "honour" , one-on-one man-to-man. A wonderfully Onionesque situation.
    Sigh, they don't make statesmen like it any more.
    Cheers,

    Mahesh.

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  26. Gee, Al, thanks. I gather that I get my facts 'righter' and my arguments 'loopier'.

    The photo-art has a title. It is called 'Leaqueries'. You'll need to squint or download it. Or just take my word for it, since as usual I am right :)

    Mark:

    So, even my thanks are not in 'order'. I need some 'eau' for the contraire.

    With Al's Escobar and your contraire, I feel like saying, "Come back,. Arjun. All is a given" :)

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  27. Mahesh:

    You forgot to link Halloween in S.Arabia! Well, I;ll stay tuned coz I am here...and who called Assange a Zionist implant? I just said it was all kosher.

    Re. your addendum, why do you think Putin has called his dog Buffy? For its 'alphaness' or just a in-the-buffiness suggestion of a 'on the mat settlement of honour'?

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  28. "Gee, Al, thanks. I gather that I get my facts 'righter' and my arguments 'loopier'. "

    FV, Sorry..can't talk now...working on removing one of my two feet stuck in my mouth now..going to be tough to get the second one out of there for a while...perhaps I will just let it stay.


    -Al

    PS: I cannot log into my "blogger account" to post
    PPS: AARGH...so hard to remember all the fake birthdays I enter when I get new email accounts, and then I can't retrieve my password, because I cannot remember when I was not born.

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  29. Very perceptive analysis.

    Here's my own take on Assange and WikiLeaks...

    http://maidhcocathail.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/wikileaks-advancing-an-israeli-agenda/

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  30. Hello Maidhc:

    Thank you and thanks for your own interesting take.

    I think it is important to look beyond what is given...

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  31. And Khaleej Times has published this piece! I sent an abridged version because I know their word limit:

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2010/December/opinion_December66.xml&section=opinion&col=

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