Ex-CIA group supports Assange and WikiLeaks

A group of ex-intelligence officers from the CIA, FBI and the British Government has written an open letter of support for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Fronted by Daniel Ellsberg - the former US military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, exposing the truth about the Vietnam War - the statement says: "WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in."

Ellsberg has said that labelling the Pentagon Papers leak as 'good' whilst the Cablegate leaks are 'bad' makes no sense. "That's just a cover for people who don't want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."

The statement is also keen to point out something that most of the mainstream media, and the growing list of cowardly organisations like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal which have kowtowed to to government pressure and cut off WikiLeaks from its only source of income, seem to have forgotten.

WikiLeaks hasn't actually leaked anything. It has simply published material leaked by a young army private who, having watched Iraqi police abuses, and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, "I was actively involved in something that I was completely against." Refusing to just sit back and ignore the horrific actions going on all around him, he said, "I want people to see the truth... because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.

Sadly, the courage of Pfc Manning's convictions will probably see him rotting in jail for the rest of his life unless, of course, some of America's more obnoxious politicians and commentators get their way and manage to have the soldier executed for treason.

The mainstream media also comes under heavy attack from the group of ex-spooks:

"The big question is not whether Americans can 'handle the truth'," the statement reads. "We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions - an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, most of which have mounted a hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

"So far, the question of whether Americans can "handle the truth" has been an academic rather than an experience-based one, because Americans have had very little access to the truth. Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, "ground truth."

The signatories to the statement, who are all associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, include former Danish intelligence analyst Frank Grevil, former UK civil servant Katharine Gun, ex-CIA analysts David MacMichael and Ray McGovern, fired UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel Collen Rowley and retired US Army Colonel Larry Wilkerson.

The vast majority of them have, like Ellsberg, been involved in high-profile leaks of their own.

You can read the statement in full here.