Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some random thoughts on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and the American Right

I just finished reading Wikipedia's entry about Julian Assange and I was quite surprised by its length.  For somebody which the corporate media describes as "mysterious" or a person "about which very little is known", Assange's entry in Wikipedia has a lot of information indeed.  The second thing which surprised me that it turns out that Assange has for many years been a developer of free software with a clear interest in developing applications which could be used in the defense of human rights and civil rights.  Lastly, I had no idea that the guy had received some pretty high profile and prestigious rewards.  All in all, I see no reason to doubt that Assange is exactly what he claims to be - a guy motivated by a desire to change the way the world operates.  Sure, a simple gut feeling is hardly the proof of anything, but to me he sure does not look like somebody's nefarious mole.

As for the latest revelations from Wikileaks, I am rather unimpressed by them.  They are exactly what I would expect to see in the diplomatic chatter of US diplomats, most of which have a pathetically low understanding of the countries they work in, and whose half assed opinions are more an expression of their parochial view of the world than of any kind of real understanding.  Thus the fact that many these leaks would parrot Israeli propaganda is really of no surprise to me and I don't see any signs of some Israeli strategic psyop here.  That does not mean that it's not there, of course, only that I do not see it (yet?).

What I do not understand at all is why Wikileaks is releasing 200 documents here, another 300 there, when the total amount is reported to be about 250'000 documents.  Neither do I understand why Assange and his friends are not releasing the documents they have obtained from a major US bank, reportedly Bank of America.  They would have been far better off offloading the entire thing on the Internet in one big release and then sit back, relax, and watch all the fallout.  Maybe they are trying to maximize the effect of each release, but in that case they are committing a crucial mistake: their role is to release, not to spin the info they get.

Another thing which amazes me is the utterly insane and blood-thirsty crap the Republicans have been spewing about how Assange should have been garroted in his hotel, killed by a drone strike or treated like a Taliban.   Some morons even want to classify Wikileaks as a terrorist organization.  Add to this 'Evil Joe' getting involved in all that and demanding that Amazon spot hosting Wikileaks on its servers (they complied), and you get the message: the Republican Party has clearly become a party of delusional psychopaths totally out of touch with reality and with not a shred of civilization, nevermind decency or common sense, left in them.  Oh, I know, the Democrats are not much better, but at least they try to *appear* better, and that in itself shows that they do cater to a very different crowd.  Add to this the surreal debate in Congress about cutting benefits while extending tax breaks for the hyper-rich and it becomes clear that the Republican Party stands for clear, unapologetic, evil.  The really scary thing is, of course, the an increasing number of Americans seem to like that or, at least, to prefer that to the spineless lying Democrats.  Either way, Fascism is alive and well in the US of A.

[Speaking of Fascism, the entire uproar about the TSA's porno-scanners and genitalia-foundling practices has died down.  Uncle Sam 1, general public 0.  As expected.]

The Saker