I haven’t been particularly interested in the WikiLeaks story. Even with not seeking out information, I’ve become intrigued by the idea of whether or not Julian Assange should be a hero or a heel.
It struck me that the calls for Assange’s execution for being a traitor are not only premature but dispute the traitor label.
Assange is certainly not a traitor of the US government – he’s not an American Citizen – he’s Australian. So, by definition, he is not betraying his government. That label is more correctly applied to the people within the USA government and military who actually leaked the information to foreign nationals.
If the claim is made that he’s a traitor to western democracy, there’s not really any governing laws or judicial body that would have jurisdiction. So no case to make there.
What it really comes down to is that the US government has been embarrassed on a number of levels and has been shown to not being above board.
It’s ironic that the US government is slowing rolling back rights, freedoms and privacy and being supported by the portion of the public with the law and order (aka republican mindset) that it’s not an issue for the government to track you if you aren’t doing anything wrong.
Yet, the US government and those with the republican mindset, are unwilling to allow the government to also be tracked and made transparent. So, are they admitting that they have things of hide? By their logic yes – and by the WikiLeak, also yes.
No society is a free society if they cannot criticize their government; and being able to do that, id dependant on government transparency.
It’s telling to me that the US Government records made public policy is that records are released after 50 years, but when WWII era documents were due for release, the legislation was changed for a longer term. You have to wonder what would be so explosive even 50 years later? But more than that, why was the government allowed to maintain a classified rating when there’s no possibility that 50 year old documents still pertained to national security.
This is where WikiLeaks is really explosive – and as far as I know, not even discussed, aspect is that it’s not the details in the WWII documents that were the national concern, but rather the operational processes that would be revealed.
What the current WikiLeaks documents demonstrate is that the government of a democratic country, is not now operating as such. While the WWII documents would have shown that not operating as such, is the US government’s business as usual.
The sad part is that this really wasn’t a secret.
Assange only confirmed what most people already assumed to be the case, so in terms of shaping public opinion, WikiLeaks is a non-starter. The danger of WikiLeaks is that the public no longer has the deniability that allowed the public to ignore the problem.
Calls for killing the messenger, are just a way to shift the blame that properly belongs with the US Government.
What makes this behaviour the most worrisome is that the sense of entitlement to not be held accountable, not to be held to their own stated standards and to operate as they like without questioning their authority. This is exactly what how the religious right operates and the religious right has hijacked the republican party and has skewed government policy and practice.
Now, I don’t have an issue with self righteousness per se, and really, how could a person and still have a blog?
But this recent upswing of evangelical obsession with left behind end time apocalypse has left me with the impression that the Republican religious right are actually wanting the apocalypse occurring in their lifetime. Even, or maybe especially, if they have to bring it about themselves.
After all, their Jesus promised that the apocalypse would occur in the lifetime of his followers. The original followers, not some 2000 plus years later.
So, on one level, I can understand why they are so anxious – but even being self righteous, you need to put a cap on what lengths you will go to be right.
Spending more money on lawyer fees that you will win at court is extreme enough – but there’s no reason to prove the world will end by ending the world.
I’ve always resisted conspiracy theories, but it’s difficult when they start to make the most sense.