US media’s inaccurate reporting on Rittenhouse had real consequences internationally: Greenwald

• Guardian reporter asked ‘Who leaked?’; also alleges reporters ‘flushed’ files • Greenwald: ‘In that one day, every one of those stories was a factor’ US media’s inaccurate reporting on Rittenhouse had real consequences…

US media’s inaccurate reporting on Rittenhouse had real consequences internationally: Greenwald

• Guardian reporter asked ‘Who leaked?’; also alleges reporters ‘flushed’ files • Greenwald: ‘In that one day, every one of those stories was a factor’

US media’s inaccurate reporting on Rittenhouse had real consequences internationally: Greenwald

Elite US news outlets published misinformation about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, during the latter’s confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to the US journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Liberals and media watchdogs have accused Julian Assange of using WikiLeaks as a human shield against arrest while he was hiding in the embassy in London in 2012 and 2013. US newspapers had therefore reported that Assange had been granted asylum, Greenwald said.

The Guardian journalist, who is currently based in Brazil and maintains an ongoing relationship with Assange, also pointed out that US outlets had withheld confidential documents while sending reporters into diplomatic hot spots and leaked them in retaliation for embargoed publication of the records.

Assange has consistently claimed he and WikiLeaks are both victims and aggressors in the media wars. US federal prosecutors are reportedly building criminal cases against the Ecuadorian embassy in order to question Assange over his possible role in the 2012 killing of an American contractor in Afghanistan, Bradley Manning.

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The Guardian journalist accused “the mainstream media” – which it does not mention by name – of “flushing these new materials into the media bloodstream by taking a puff of their cigarette and swallowing them whole, when they should have reported on them as new sources.”

Greenwald, who writes from the Brazilian city of São Paulo and regularly writes for his blog in English, wrote about the Manning story in his first post on the blog, which is hosted on his partner’s computer.

In it, Greenwald points out that “in less than 24 hours” of publishing the documents Manning sent WikiLeaks, he “went from unknown to everyone’s favourite hero”. But he believes the media “flushed” those documents “and WikiLeaks itself, into the media bloodstream, in a matter of hours”, by publishing the cables via three US news websites.

“The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post turned over documents they had received from the US government to WikiLeaks, knowing that those documents would be published online shortly thereafter,” Greenwald said.

They “both published information that had never been shown to Manning”, he added.

The general consensus in Washington after WikiLeaks’ publication of the drone documents in 2010 was that it was “bad for America”, said Greenwald.

“But they [the US] said something completely different in private,” Greenwald claimed. “They had a different viewpoint in their email,” for example. The newspapers were “confident” they had “a major scoop here”.

Journalists at several newspapers were “flushing documents” into the media bloodstream, Greenwald wrote. By the middle of that year, WikiLeaks was “under enormous pressure from US attorneys and the state department to limit their publication”.

In January 2011, the FBI raided the offices of a Washington thinktank and “arrested a confidential source within the thinktank who had provided WikiLeaks with documents”.

“All that had happened within 24 hours of the publication of these documents,” Greenwald said. The Guardian sent reporters into several countries as part of an effort to corroborate Manning’s leaks.

He asks: “Who leaked to WikiLeaks? Who flushed that information to WikiLeaks? Who got angry enough to leak these documents to a journalist?”

In the end, Manning was found guilty of the lesser counts in the court martial but not of an alleged sexual assault and he was found not guilty of fraud. Then-president Barack Obama commuted his prison sentence.

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