AS THE PLOT THICKENS: THE STRANGE CASE OF JULIAN ASSANGE
by : Jack Random
Monday December 6, 2010 - 02:48
A JAZZMAN CHRONICLE BY JACK RANDOM. DISSEMINATE FREELY.
As a novelist with a penchant for political mystery and suspense, I am familiar with the standard plot twist of the endangered protagonist: If only she can get the information out into the public, she’ll be safe. The men in black can’t touch her then and the world will have to grapple with the truth.
As the plot thickens in the strange case of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and the man behind the latest uncovering of duplicity, hypocrisy and deception in American diplomacy, what is easily the most fascinating story of the year is also becoming the most important.
Say it ain’t so: The hero of our story cannot be a sex offender wanted in Sweden for something resembling rape. Even sexual misconduct however it is characterized is not permissible for our man of the hour. A good protagonist may be tortured, twisted, suffering extreme bouts of anxiety and depression but he cannot in any way be a sexual offender. Such a distinction would place our story in the waste bin of literature never to be consumed by the general public. We desire this story to be widely read.
This is not how our story goes. Rather, Julian Assange is under attack by the most powerful forces on the planet. Having outfoxed and outmaneuvered the intelligentsia, the wrath of the United States government is being brought to bear. When we learn that the Swedish government was not much interested in the case until an angry White House condemned the latest WikiLeaks release in terms normally reserved for terrorists and enemies of state, we begin to suspect that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is twisting some Swedish diplomatic arms. When we learn that Sweden is heavily invested in the international arms trade and may have something to hide, we wonder what bodies might be buried in the Swedish wine cellar. When we learn that the prosecutor refused even to talk the case over before posting Assange’s name on the Interpol most wanted list, our suspicions grow. When we learn that the Swedish Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the warrant, we suspect our doubts concerning the Swedish judicial process are well grounded.
Moreover, when the Ambassador of Ecuador (perhaps inspired by the revelation of America’s betrayal of democracy in Honduras) came to the rescue, offering virtual asylum to our beleaguered hero, it was subsequently withdrawn for unstated reasons. The unseen hand of oppression no doubt belongs to the American diplomatic corps and an incensed Hillary Clinton. (How will this affect her still breathing presidential aspirations?)
Amazon announces that it will no longer allow WikiLeaks to use their servers and Pay Pal, a subsidiary of eBay, severs ties in attempt to cut off financing. The squeeze is on and we begin to wonder if it is even possible to reveal the truth in a corporate world.
In this case the cat is out of the bag. Elvis has left the building. But Assange and friends promise even more fun and games, the next episode exposing the highly questionable and perhaps illegal conduct of a certain powerful American bank.
So what have we learned from the latest WikiLeaks revelations?
Respectfully and with due deference to Julian Assange and his hacker friends, we have learned very little of substance. In fact, we have learned more from the reaction than from the documents themselves.
If anyone was surprised that the Saudis and their Sunni allies in the Middle East are more threatened by an empowered Iran than they are by Israel and in fact were cheerleaders for a preemptive strike on Tehran, then they had little interest in foreign policy and likely remain ignorant today.
If anyone is surprised by the extent to which this American administration has gone to protect officials of the Bush administration from charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, they have not been following along.
The sum total of the WikiLeaks revelations thus far is to confirm an already dark and cynical view of the American government. It adds to our disillusionment and the realization that a change in presidents and a change in ruling parties did not translate to a change in policy.
For me the most damning revelation (if it can be called that) was our government’s response to the military coup in Honduras overthrowing the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, in June 2009.
At the time I correctly read the coup as an unjustified reaction to Zelaya’s proposals to help his nation’s abundant poor. That he wanted to raise the minimum wage was just too much for that nation’s elite to bear. I incorrectly interpreted the Obama administration’s neutral response as a step in the right direction. Thanks to WikiLeaks we now know that our own diplomats got it right from day one: The coup was unlawful, ungrounded and therefore deserving of an immediate and forceful denunciation. Our official response neither condemning nor approving the coup was calculated to legitimize the coup with a subsequent election while Zelaya was exiled to the Dominican Republic.
The message to Latin America was and is clear: This administration like its predecessors is no friend to democracy for whenever the elite come calling we will answer. Tragically, the Obama administration continues to pursue a policy of exploitation under the guise of free trade though it has alienated the entire hemisphere.
This was the administration that was supposed to champion transparency yet the venom it has shown toward the man who forced some small measure of it upon them is palpable. There is nothing in these documents that poses a threat to any lives and the only policies they challenge are policies that deserve to be challenged.
What follows is an assault on the free flow of information through the worldwide web. Members of congress and the executive are scrambling to find ways to shut WikiLeaks down. Because the web is international and the WikiLeaks people are highly competent their efforts are likely to fail. For individuals and organizations with lesser resources the effort to suppress might well succeed. That is the greatest danger the WikiLeaks phenomenon entails: that freedom of the web might be compromised.
It is critical to bear in mind that WikiLeaks is not the source of its information; it is the conduit. It receives information from people within the halls of power who believe the public has right to know and that that right supercedes all other considerations.
We need a WikiLeaks. We can no longer count on our corporate-owned media to do the right thing when it may undermine their own interests. We need a neutral conduit. In fact, we need a thousand conduits so that none can be singled out for retribution.
Imagine what might have happened had someone leaked the Downing Street memos or something like them, exposing the lies of war before the first bombs fell on Baghdad. If an unjustified war could be averted and hundreds of thousands of lives saved, how sacred then is the right of government secrecy?
I do not know what happened with two women in Sweden but I have a suspicion that the case would never have come to light if not for the other activities of Julian Assange. If guilty, without question he should be held accountable.
In his role as a provider of information that enlightens or empowers the public, Julian Assange deserves all the protection that freedom of the press can provide. Toward that end we should extract a price on Amazon and eBay with a Christmas boycott for doing the government’s dirty work.
I sincerely hope that all efforts at suppression and revenge fall short and that our government finally learns that transparency is not only the best defense against security leaks, it is also the best policy.
This is how our story must end: Not with our hero in jail but exonerated and our government shamed into more open, honest and responsible policies. It must leave us yearning for the next installment.
JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). THE CHRONICLES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON NUMEROUS CITES OF THE WORLDWIDE WEB, INCLUDING THE ALBION MONITOR, BELLACIAO, BUZZLE, COUNTERPUNCH, DISSIDENT VOICE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS AND PACIFIC FREE PRESS. SEE WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSP....
Fukushima: A River Runs Through It
Saturday 8 - 17:03by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner
HILLARY LIKENS PUTIN TO HITLER
Saturday 8 - 05:36by SON OF A BUSH
Polio Continues To Be A Major Threat For Millions Of Children
Saturday 8 - 00:39by Brian McAfee
The Dark Ages Have Descended Anew: No Truth Need Apply
Friday 7 - 22:01by Daniel Patrick Welch
Rule by oligarchs: Kiev appoints billionaires to govern east (video)
Friday 7 - 10:29
Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders - leaked EU’s Ashton phone tape (videos)
Thursday 6 - 10:42
Ukraine: Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Snyper Shootings
Thursday 6 - 10:32by F. William Engdahl
Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers (video)
Thursday 6 - 08:41by Ewen MacAskill
The Lvov pogrom of 1941
Wednesday 5 - 09:35
In Birzeit, ‘Trigger Happy’ Israel Vindicates Amnesty’s Report
Wednesday 5 - 09:24by Nicola Nasser
CIA‘s Use of Nazi Strategy on Ukrainian Right-Wing Nationalists Unabated since Cold War
Wednesday 5 - 09:15by Wayne MADSEN
VLADIMIR PUTIN, THE WORLD’S LAST TRUE STATESMAN
Tuesday 4 - 15:40by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Apartheid Australia: false defamation of anti-racist Jews who support BDS
Tuesday 4 - 02:20by Dr Gideon Polya
US MEDIA : GIVING PROSTITUTION A BAD NAME
Tuesday 4 - 02:13by SON OF A BUSH
Blessing in disguise: Ukraine may be the last straw—if it doesn’t kill us all
Monday 3 - 22:38by Daniel Patrick Welch
News Ukraine The far right groups patrolling Kiev (video)
Monday 3 - 09:56
Ukrainian troops dispatched in Crimea switch to region’s side – sources
Monday 3 - 00:18
If the Defense Department’s Not Defensive, What Would Be?
Sunday 2 - 23:12by David Swanson
South Central US Poisoned by New Mexico Nuke Garbage Dump
Sunday 2 - 17:22by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner
Worst Man for the Job : What the Hell is Obama Thinking?
Saturday 1 - 23:57by Daniel Patrick Welch
RUSSIA TO INVADE UKRAINE
Saturday 1 - 21:39by Son OF A BUSH
Letter of march to Obama.
Saturday 1 - 09:09by kakine
On Making Earthian Life Fairer and Sustainable
Wednesday 26 - 17:13by Richard John Stapleton
Imperial Overstretch Olympics: The West and Ukraine
Tuesday 25 - 01:08by Daniel Patrick Welch
Imperial Overstretch Olympics: As sun sets on beautiful Sochi, jealous west take
Tuesday 25 - 01:03by Daniel Patrick Welch
Kharkov 3000 people and protect the statue of Lenin still standing (video)
Tuesday 25 - 00:23
IF UKRAINE GOES
Tuesday 25 - 00:16by SON OF A BUSH
Ukrainian “Parliament” drops Mask, reveals Fascist Nature
Monday 24 - 16:10
Odessa condemns Euro-fascism (video)
Monday 24 - 13:49
Soon, the Battle for Venezuela
Monday 24 - 12:56by ANDRE VLTCHEK
US /EU Are Erecting A Nazi Regime On Ukrainian Territory
Monday 24 - 06:07by Johnny Canuck
Review: "Wanting" by Richard Flanagan - UK Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide exposed
Friday 21 - 23:42by Dr Gideon Polya
Imagine the shoe on the other foot
Friday 21 - 18:39by Daniel Patrick Welch
Egyptian historic breakthrough with Russia, not a strategic shift yet
Friday 21 - 08:09by Nicola Nasser
Why We Need Tenure in Colleges and Universities
Thursday 20 - 16:10by Richard John Stapleton
Problems Managing Colleges and Universities
Wednesday 19 - 15:43by Richard John Stapleton
BEWARE THE BANKSTER’S BAIL IN
Tuesday 18 - 18:15by SON OF A BUSH
Canada Welcomes Mossad Assassin, Offers Him New Identity
Monday 17 - 11:50by Johnny Canuck
UNDERSTANDING MODERN ISRAEL: WHY IT IS DRIVING THE WORLD TOWARDS MADNESS
Sunday 16 - 17:32by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Continuing Aboriginal Genocide & Aboriginal Ethnocide by Apartheid Australia
Sunday 16 - 04:39by Dr Gideon Polya