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....
INDIANA: THE STATE BUILT ON HATE
Friday 27 - 22:55by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Blockupy will continue
Tuesday 24 - 14:32by Blockupy
Ready or not, climate change is coming to Africa
Monday 23 - 13:54by Robert Ginsey
Iraq invasion 12th anniversary - 2.7 million dead from violence or deprivation
Monday 23 - 04:18by Dr Gideon Polya
Hillary or Bush III?
Saturday 21 - 17:40by Richard John Stapleton
MARIJUANA: LEGALIZE―DON’T ADVERTISE
Wednesday 18 - 12:51by William John Cox
48 Hours - Vive la commune!
Tuesday 17 - 22:09by Interventionistische Linke
U.S. opens up to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Syria, and Iran
Tuesday 17 - 15:56by Nicola Nasser
Book Review: “Genocide in Iraq Volume II. The Obliteration of a Modern State”
Sunday 15 - 01:08by Dr Gideon Polya
THE CIA AND AMERICA’S PRESIDENTS Some rarely discussed truths shaping contempora
Friday 13 - 16:36by JOHN CHUCKMAN
March 18th 2015 in Frankfurt against the European Central Bank’s
Thursday 5 - 19:33by Blockupy
Review: "Tears in Paradise" by Rajendra Prasad - Britain’s Indian slaves in Fiji
Wednesday 4 - 22:16by Dr Gideon Polya
WILL WISCONSIN’S IGNORANCE BECOME AMERICA’S IGNORANCE, AGAIN?
Tuesday 3 - 00:57by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
M18: Full Communism instead of Austerity!
Monday 2 - 14:37by *
ISIS 101: What’s really terrifying about this threat
Sunday 1 - 21:37by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Putin Netanyahu In Sight of Iran
Saturday 28 - 06:30by I.M. Charly
AS Monaco owner Dmitry Rybolovlev took controversial path to billionaire status
Friday 27 - 20:02by Constantin
THE GRAND ILLUSION
Wednesday 25 - 18:38by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Let’s make history!
Sunday 22 - 16:54by THE COMMUNE OF EUROPE
UN peace coordinator unwelcome by Palestinians
Sunday 22 - 08:02by Nicola Nasser
"Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" - stop ecocide & speciescide
Sunday 22 - 06:34by Dr Gideon Polya
No Caliph in 500 Years: ISIS - Discerning the Propaganda
Saturday 21 - 17:06by Timbre Wolf
Zionist historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) minimized Bengali Holocaust
Thursday 19 - 08:58by Dr Gideon Polya
HOW AMERICA SCREWS UP THE WORLD WITHOUT EVER LETTING ITS PEOPLE KNOW WHAT IS HAP
Thursday 12 - 16:47by JOHN CHUCKMAN
SWISS LEAKS - EXPLORE THE SWISS LEAKS DATA
Monday 9 - 15:54by icij.org
As UK or US allies Australians have invaded 85 countries (France 80, the US 70)
Sunday 8 - 22:31by Dr Gideon Polya
there is noreason not to stop the maddness
Sunday 8 - 22:28
Strike Meeting Act II "Europe, social and transnational strike"
Saturday 7 - 15:55by Strike Meeting
When will USA led forces start burning ISIS fighters alive in cages?
Friday 6 - 16:00by William Morgan
The dictator who jailed Fela Kuti wants the Nigerian presidency
Wednesday 4 - 18:04by Jason Fissourou
THANK YOU NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AND NFL
Wednesday 4 - 03:05by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Are Republicans closet communists? If not they should pass the Lilly Ledbetter A
Tuesday 3 - 23:03by Richard John Stapleton
Are Republicans closet communists? If not they should pass the Lilly Ledbetter A
Tuesday 3 - 22:43by Richard John Stapleton
US Manipulates India for Corporate Nuclear interests
Tuesday 3 - 11:08by Timbre Wolf
Syriza and social movements - Interview with AK Athens
Thursday 29 - 23:04by InfoAut
Climate South Initiative to help Africans go from bystanders to leaders in clima
Thursday 29 - 22:49
Self-Interest Is Hard Work
Wednesday 28 - 16:39by WireNews Limited
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM The Origin of Modern Terror and Crumbling Western Value
Monday 26 - 18:31by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The British have invaded 193 countries - make January 26 British Invasion Day
Friday 23 - 06:39by Dr Gideon Polya
Mazurier: In 2015, France can emerge as leader in climate fight
Wednesday 21 - 15:34by Jason G.