MEDIA WATCH: CASE flashbacks and shades of Chicago Christmases past... WIKILEAKS, Michael Moore posting bail for Assange, supporting Wikileaks, and reminded of Chicago's CASE test scandals

For the past several days, the news services have been filled with stories about the Wikileaks publication of hundreds of thousands of "confidential" U.S. diplomatic messages. Now that Wikileaks editor Julian Assange will be raising the money (reportedly, nearly $400,000 cash) to post bail in Great Britain on bogus "sexual" charges from Sweden (check out the facts of what happened before allowing another disinformation campaign to bring down a man, like the CIA discovery of Salvador Allende's "pornography" collection after the Pinoshet coup on September 11, 1973 and the murder of Allende), let's remind Substance readers that we're almost at the 12th anniversary of the famous DAY THEY SUED A NEWSPAPER FOR PUBLISHING THE TRUTH. I'm talking, of course, about January 1999, when Substance published leaked copies of the infamous CASE (Chicago Academic Standards Examination) and the "standards and accountability" (political, educational, judicial, and media) went nuts to suppress the publication of the actual wording of those shoddy and ridiculous tests. We were sued for a million dollars (the charge: "Copyright Infringement") by the Chicago Board of Education (the President of which was a guy named Gery Chico at the time) and they moved quickly to fire me from a teaching job I'd done superiorly for nearly three decades.

The issue was making all test content public after the tests have been given so that the public -- not just "test experts" -- can judge whether these tests actually measure and do what they are claimed to be doing by the experts and the media. It was a challenge in democracy when we published six of the CASE tests verbatim in Substance in January 1999, and by the time it was all over five years later, democracy had largely lost. The Board of Education had been awarded the right to fire me from a teaching job for work I had done at another job (editing Substance), the U.S. Supreme Court had refused to hear the case as a First Amendment case (thereby leaving a toxic Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision written by that reactionary icon, Richard Posner, as the last judicial word on the question), and the public was denied the right to examine every test that is used to bash teachers, ruin the lives of students, and mislead the world about the way public schools are working.

Secret tests are more damaging to democracy than most secret things.

Which brings us back to this month's Wikileaks. Some of us are recommending that Substance support Julian Assange. Meanwhile, Michael Moore (who ignored our plight when the CASE tests were the major secrecy issue in the courts and public in Chicago) has announced he is putting his money where his mouth is, and helping provide bail for Julian Assange.

Here is what Michael Moore has to say:

Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange (A statement from Michael Moore), Tuesday, December 14th, 2010


Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks "has violated the Espionage Act."

**The New Yorker's George Packer calls Assange "super- secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal."

**Sarah Palin claims he's "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands" whom we should pursue "with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: "A dead man can't leak stuff ... there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."

**Republican Mary Matalin says "he's a psychopath, a sociopath ... He's a terrorist."

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a "terrorist organization."

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won't be so easy because the tables have been turned -- and now it's Big Brother who's being watched ... by us!

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks ("they've released

little that's new!") or have painted them as simple anarchists ("WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!"). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it

impossible for good journalists to do their job. There's no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don't want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept ... as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if

WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this

photo. That's Mr. Bush about to be handed a "secret" document

on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: "Bin Ladin Determined

To Strike in US." And on those pages it said the FBI had

discovered "patterns of suspicious activity in this country

consistent with preparations for hijackings." Mr. Bush

decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four


But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have

reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there

not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done

something if all of us knew about bin Laden's impending

attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document.

Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in

San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no

interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read

about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called

the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen

Rowley, Time's 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief

that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been


Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read "secret"

memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him

the "facts" he wanted in order to build his false case for

war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there

were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think

that the war would have been launched -- or rather, wouldn't

there have been calls for Cheney's arrest?

Openness, transparency -- these are among the few weapons the

citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the

corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 -- after the

Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by

the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin -- there had been

a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing

was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million

Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it's wrong to support Julian

Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he's being

held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the

government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please

-- never, ever believe the "official story." And regardless

of Assange's guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of

the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail

posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers

Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting

up the bail money -- and we hope the judge will accept this

and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic

negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps.

But that's the price you pay when you and your government

take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for

misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in

the room so that we can see what you're up to. You simply

can't be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is

now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No

one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big

Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done.

WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of

their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them

are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I

ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to

guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have

wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to

continue unchallenged.

Yours, Michael Moore

P.S. You can read the statement I filed today in the London

court here.

P.P.S. If you're reading this in London, please go support

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks at a demonstration at 1 PM

today, Tuesday the 14th, in front of the Westminster court.



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