Guardian Uses WikiLeaks For Propaganda, Pakistani Media Can’t?

Posted by Ahmed Quraishi on Dec 10th, 2010

Guardian Uses WikiLeaks For Propaganda, Pakistani Media Can’t?

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Guardian Uses WikiLeaks For Propaganda, Pakistani Media Can’t?


UK’s Guardian newspaper declared that WikiLeaks on India are fake. Really? Is US envoy Timothy Roemer’s cable of 16 Feb. 2010 calling Indian military “slow and slumbering” fake? Didn’t he call Indian military doctrine a “myth”? Guardian, along with NYT and a German magazine, ruined the good work of WikiLeaks by selectively releasing cables angled to attack nations at odds with US, British and Nato policies.  


AHMED QURAISHI | Friday | 10 December 2010


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The Guardian newspaper of Britain gleefully ran this headline, Pakistani Media Publish Fake WikiLeaks Cables Attacking India. The most astonishing part of the report was a line that read, ‘[T]his is the first case of WikiLeaks being exploited for propaganda purposes.”

This coming from the Guardian which, along with New York Times and Germany’s Der Spiegel, were the first to use WikiLeaks for propaganda by selectively releasing cables to target countries like Pakistan, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia.

Amazingly, all three – Guardian, NYT, Der Spiegel – focused on targeting countries that the United States [and UK and Germany] see as foreign policy antagonists.  

What are the odds that the first 1,270 cables out of some 251,000 that the three published were all in sync with US-UK-Germany-Nato policy outlook? And what are the odds that almost half of the stories initially generated by the three publications focused on Pakistan, its nukes, and its role in Afghanistan, all US top priorities?

The WikiLeaks documents are the truth. But those releasing these cables selectively, like The Guardian, have indulged in propaganda. This is a propaganda war, not a war for truth, at least not if you go by the initial manipulated stories released by the three news publications.

For some unknown reason, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks decided to hand over the stolen US diplomatic cables to the Guardian, NYT and Der Spiegel. These three are ‘establishment’ publications par excellence.  They were frontrunners in promoting fake CIA ‘intelligence’ on Iraqi nukes and Iraqi mobile chemical production labs that never existed.

‘Guardian’s Lousy Homework’

To create an aura of mystery around the India WikiLeaks story published in Pakistan, Guardian’s Islamabad correspondent Declan Walsh claimed the stories were ‘credited to the Online Agency, an Islamabad-based news service that has frequently run pro-army stories in the past. No journalist is bylined.’

Fabulous, only that it is not accurate.

The story was published by the Daily Mail of Pakistan, a newspaper launched recently and staffed by journalists coming from the newsrooms of Pakistan’s front-row newspapers. Contrary to Mr. Walsh’s claim, the story was bylined and was picked up by the Pakistani media and the Online News Agency a full day later.  Walsh’s claim that Online wire service has ‘frequently run pro-army stories in the past’ is not only ridiculous but makes Mr. Walsh and The Guardian liable for defamation. Pakistani media is familiar with this wire service but not in the context that the British journalist described, which is completely misleading for readers outside Pakistan.

Guardian’s Mr. Walsh failed to verify the story from the original source, the Daily Mail of Pakistan, located in a lavish building in one of the most prestigious parts of Islamabad [29, Street No. 60, Sector F-11/4].

‘Report Largely Accurate’

The Guardian is horrified that there is someone else practicing manipulation besides it. It’s as if someone has been offended that a WikiLeaks-related story has come out from a source other than the Wiki-Three: Guardian, NYT and Der Spiegel, and with an angle not endorsed by them.

Many parts of the Pakistani story are accurate and cables exist to prove it. Other parts are not, at least not until more US diplomatic cables come into the open.

Among the credible parts is the healthy skepticism that US diplomats posted in New Delhi have shown on a number of issues, from India’s Cold Start doctrine to Indian military’s preparedness, ending with India’s UN Security Council ambitions.

In a cable marked ‘secret’ and sent in February this year from the US embassy in New Delhi, US ambassador Timothy Roemer blasted Indian military as “slow and slumbering”.  He dismissed India’s military doctrine, called Cold Start, as “a mixture of myth and reality. It has never been and may never be put to use on a battlefield because of substantial and serious resource constraints […]”.

At another place, Roemer says India’s military and political leaderships are at odds over military plans for Pakistan. Another US cable has already criticized the sense of self-importance among India officials with special reference to India’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council Seat.

‘You Manipulate And We Can’t?’

A large part of the original Pakistani report is credible. It was published by a prominent news organization and the story has four names in the byline. The Guardian unethically tried to link the story to Pakistani intelligence agencies by suggesting the story comes with ‘no byline’ and can’t be sourced.

Guardian’s Mr. Walsh compensated his lack of investigation by offering his own conspiracy theory that the report was planted by Pakistani intelligence agencies. He also appears to have misinterpreted the statement of Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor for The News International, who told the Guardian he ran a front-page story that was ‘agencies’ copy’. This in Pakistani journalism parlance means wire news feed. Apparently, the editors at Guardian mistook ‘agencies’ for intelligence services.

The obsession of British and American journalists with self-promoted conspiracies surrounding Pakistani intelligence is ridiculous.

The Guardian reduced Online News Agency, for example, to a military mouthpiece, which Pakistani journalists know is not the case. All Pakistani newspapers publish pro-army and anti-army reports and opinions but no one accuses them of ‘frequently running pro-army stories’ as Guardian’s Walsh did.

American and British diplomats, officials and journalists conveniently dub any Pakistani publication exhibiting nationalistic views as a front for spy services.

To demonstrate how ridiculously conspiratorial senior US and British diplomats and journalists can be, let me give this personal example. On the morning of Monday, 3 December 2007, well known American pundit and commentator Robert Novak ran a column in the Washington Post that said at one place, “The ISI’s views were expressed Nov. 19 by Ahmed Quraishi, an anchor on state-owned Pakistani television, in an article posted on his Web site and published in several of the country’s newspapers.”

Mr. Novak’s conclusion was not an epiphany. He received this valuable information from a senior US diplomat in Islamabad. I had inkling about the person in question so I called the diplomat and asked, “An ISI mouthpiece? Is this the kind of information you are fed Mr. Novak?” The diplomat was speechless. [I will not reveal the identity of the diplomat here.] Needless to say, this was a conspiracy theory with no basis, promoted by a senior US diplomat and a senior US journalist. And they got away with it.

Before ‘establishment-linked’ journals like NYT and the Guardian can accuse anyone in the Pakistani media of fronting for spy services, just remember: one of the most senior New York Times journalists and an expert on the Middle East, Judith Miller, was exposed through judicial process to be a mouthpiece for CIA, planting stories on Iraq WMD threat. Almost all of the major stories she wrote and NYT published before and after Iraq invasion turned out to be false [See Judith Miller, Shamed Former NY Times Bush WMD Propagandist ]. I bet Declan Walsh and the Guardian never questioned her sources while reporting on them.

‘We Can Manipulate Too’

Just like the Guardian and NYT, the Pakistani media retains the right to manipulate and highlight WikiLeaks documents that serve our interest. This could involve some exaggeration in some parts of the media. But not everything is ‘incorrect’, as the Guardian claimed.

The Pakistani story shifts the focus to India, and shows we too can use WikiLeaks for propaganda like everyone else. The Guardian and the other two journals have been doing the same for the past two weeks. I am not saying Pakistan did use WikiLeaks for propaganda but it certainly can, like everyone else.

Russian premier Vladimir Putin captured the same logic in a statement made yesterday. He said: “In Russian villages they say ’some people’s cows can moo, but yours should keep quiet.’ So I would like to shoot the puck back at our American colleagues.”

WikiLeaks did a great job. The Guardian, NYT and Der Spiegel exploited it to serve other agendas.


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9 Responses for “Guardian Uses WikiLeaks For Propaganda, Pakistani Media Can’t?”

  1. Tariq says:

    Here is a film on UK ITV put on at 11.00pm, too late for most people…this late airing time is given as its another way to limit the truth from getting out. I am posting it because i believe many pakistani influentials are somewhat insulated from such information, i am not saying they dont know, i am saying the trust they have in the western media shows that trust is misplaced. One reason fr this is they fail to make enough of a distinction between western foreign policy, and home affairs.
    Despite honest journalists like John Pilger, the western decepetion cannpt be stopped.
    Here is a film by John Pilger, it proves the relationship between the rulers and the media is completely controlled to manipulate the public and the world in their capitalist global agenda. watch it then tell me i am wrong ,,,, if you can.

    • Tariq says:

      The last part of the film shows secret cia documents that plan propaganda against Juilan Asange wikileaks, to undermine public belief in him.

  2. Blue says:

    Great piece of writing Mr. Quraishi, exposing some well-respected manipulators and global markets of systematic propaganda programmes.
    Interestingly enough, recent Wikileaks is mostly based on leaked cables specifically from consulates, with diplomats sending their analysis and opinions to US or the conversations of friends or foes being recorded/documented. The material worth exploiting has selectively been released in various episodes, and there are lots of views on how and when the releases are launched. They are anticipated to be serving similar purposes at present as the dubious/fake audios and videos of terrorists leaders did in the past decade. People know by now that Iran and Pakistan are the new scape goats of present. Most peace lovers are therefore, dreading after seeing the results in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    NB. In addition to others, Mr. Alan Hart and Mr. Gordon Duff have written some very interesting analysis on recent WikiLeaks.

    • Thank you Mr. Zamir. Yes I followed the other works on this subject. It is a matter of satisfaction that even WikiLeaks has taken note of how NYT, Guardian and Der Spiegel manipulated the release of the cables to serve propaganda purposes of US and Nato policies. Now WikiLeaks is looking for other newspapers/publications to disseiminate the next dump of documents in addition to the three ‘establishment’ newspapers that I have mentioned.

  3. freeha says:

    Well western hypocrisy is at the top.i really don’t understand why they have so much double standard ?.i mean if they try to kill a person just to protect their interest they are right but if we do the same we are wrong.Why this world belong to strong only?.They are killing innocent ppl every here.They are humiliating our religion our PROPHET they are targeting us in every shepher of life but if we just try to justify being alive we are accused of terrorism brutality we are accused of extremism why don’t this modern world see its own behave.IF NYT,GURADIAN and many westernize media tool use wiki leaks to divide Muslims world and their friend they are considered right but if we try to justify our interest we are taken as worse one.Is not it hypocrisy?

  4. Tariq says:

    This is a fantastic article, well done AQ and friends ! This is how to live in the world, we have to harness the media…”They” ( the kuffar ) can fool all the people (only) some of the time….this is yet another proof for those that still needed it for the western double standard false way of life, its a kuffar hallmark to lie and cheat stemming from theor kalima of freedom. It is not suprising when you realise what the western kuffar way of lifes is built upon. We should expect this, and predict this behaviour. So why should we muslims use the same governing system, if we did, that would be a contradiction to our foundation and beliefs, and would cause us to collapse.
    ..We need to build and practice our own Deen, built upon la illaha illallah.

  5. Mustafa says:

    Awesome article AQ! The western media is full of hypocrites!

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Husham Ahmed, Faraz Shams and Faraz Shams, Ahmed Quraishi. Ahmed Quraishi said: UK's Guardian newspaper declared that WikiLeaks on India are fake. Really? Is US envoy Timothy Roemer's cable of… [...]

  7. No Pakistani newspaper published any apology. Read the entire explanation published by The News today. There is no apology. Only explanation for the confusion over the original source of the report, which is The Daily Mail of Pakistan. Online News Agency picked the story without citing the source, and The News and others published it. When Guardian accused and asked what’s the source, they didn’t know. The original story is properly sourced and its publisher stands by the information contained in the report.


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