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WikiLeaks Arabia: An idea whose time has come

By Jonathan J. Ariel - posted Friday, 3 December 2010

“In its landmark ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court ruled that 'only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.'

We agree."

From home page


WikiLeaks has jumped into the news with its mammoth release of secret US documents which has been widely condemned. Why? It may be temporarily embarrassing for US security agencies, but the Wikileaks approach could cause much good if applied universally. Indeed, there is plenty of information that is openly and legally available which never gets reported. WikiLeaks could extend its operations to this information, lower its risk profile, and still do the world a huge favour.

According to Wikipedia, no relation to WikiLeaks, Abu Nidal (Arabic: أبو نضال) (May 1937 - August 16, 2002), born Sabri Khalil al-Banna (Arabic: صبري خليل البنا), was the founder of the Fatah Revolutionary Council (Arabic: فتح المجلس الثوري). The Council was more commonly eponymously known as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO). At the height of his power in the 1970s and 1980s, Abu Nidal, Arabic for "father of [the] struggle, "was widely regarded as the most ruthless operative in the Palestinian political leadership". - The ANO was a leading part of the secular, far left, Arab rejectionist front, so called because they rejected every single proposal for a peaceful settlement with Israel. ANO was formed in 1974 following a rift between Abu Nidal and Yasser Arafat’s party, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Abu Nidal is credited (if that’s the right adjective) with ordering attacks in up to 20 countries, killing, injuring or orphaning over 900 people. Abu Nidal’s most gruesome slaughter took place at the El Al ticket desks at Rome and Vienna airports in the winter of 1985. Abu Nidal’s terrorists pumped countless rounds of automatic fire at everyone who was close to those desks. In all, 18 lives were lost on the day and a further 120 maimed requiring hospitalisation.

A year later the ANO was at it again, this time his barbarians hijacked Pan Am flight 73 in Karachi en route from Bombay to New York City. The aircraft had 389 passengers and crew on board. Passengers were held captive for 16 hours after which the terrorists tossed grenades amongst the seated, bewildered and frightened passengers. Luckily someone managed to prop open the emergency door allowing all but 16 of the hostages to escape. A further 100 were maimed or disabled. At least another four died subsequently of their injuries.

Abu Nidal died in Baghdad on 16 August 2002. Saddam Hussein’s government claimed he committed suicide. Palestinian sources however are convinced that Saddam’s henchmen were responsible.

In any event, the world slept better that night.


But Abu Nidal’s legacy, the Fatah Revolutionary Council, lives on and remains focused on the annihilation of the Jewish state. And it’s that Council that met last week in the Arab settlement of Ramallah, on the disputed West Bank.

That the Council met is not the issue. That its meeting was misreported by some media outlets, including AFP - and not reported at all by many, is a travesty.

And that its outcomes were ignored comprehensively by the mainstream media and publically by diplomats worldwide is proof if any was needed, of the vital and democratic service Julian Assange’s Wikileaks has provided to date with respect to United States and which Assange should extend to the political tinderbox which is the Middle East.

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About the Author

Jonathan J. Ariel is an economist and financial analyst. He holds a MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He can be contacted at

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