Friday, December 10, 2010

The New McCarthyism, The Real Terrorists—The Case of Wikileaks, Part II

In my previous post, “The Hacker’s Treehouse”, I discussed Wikileaks, its founder and leader Julian Assange, and the latest hubbub they’ve stirred with the State Department cable scandal. 
In this post, I discuss the reaction of the various governments to the Wikileaks revelations, and what these reactions say about our current state of affairs. At the end of the piece, I conclude that we are living in the era of the New McCarthyism. 

The New McCarthyism, The Real Terrorism
Can you identify the terrorist?
Or do they all look the same to you?

What is a terrorist?

Someone who uses violence and intimidation in order to achieve a political goal. 

What is a criminal?

Someone who, whether by action or omission, carries out an offense proscribed by the law, an offense which is therefore punishable by the State. 

It’s important to know what these words mean, because both of them—criminal and terrorist—have been liberally applied to Julian Assange and Wikileaks, since it posted its very first batch of documents.

Now, with the State Department cable leaks, those calls have become a collective roar of condemnation, in America:

“Terrorist!”

“Criminal!”

Of course, Assange is neither a terrorist nor a criminal: He simply published some leaked documents that embarrassed some people. 

He’s not a terrorist, because he did not commit a single act of violence or intimidation, in order to achieve his political goal. 

He’s not a criminal, at least not in the United States, because he has not broken any law in America, and he is not an American citizen, subject to U.S. jurisdiction. 

But you wouldn’t know it, from the uproar over the Wikileaks’ case. 

The examples are too numerous to list—so let’s go to the highlight reel: 

• Sarah Palin: The former vice-presidential candidate and current Tea Party powerhouse said that Assange “is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands”, though even the Pentagon has admitted that no harm has come to any American serviceman because of any of the Wikileaks revelations. Then Palin asked, “Why was he [Assange] not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”—i.e., why isn’t Assange hunted down like a terrorist. The implication seemed to be that Assange should be pursued and then killed, though in fairness, Palin did not say so outright. Source for Palin’s comments is here. Source for Pentagon determination is here. Additionally, see “Veteran’s Today” story

• Bill O’Reilly: The high-profile media personality has called Assange “a traitor, who should be executed or put in jail for the rest of his life.” (My self-respect demands that I point out that Assange is an Australian—he can’t “betray” the United States, which is not his country.) He also casually said that he would like to see “a drone hit Assange”, though the comment was a throw-away. Video is here

• Tom Flanagan: A former senior aide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Flanagan did what Palin shied away from—he openly called for the assassination of Julian Assange on an American network news broadcast. Unlike O’Reilly, who could explain it away as an off-the-cuff gaff, Flanagan’s call to murder Assange was quite vicious, serious, and repeated. Video is here.

Personally, these people remind me of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and his call to murder Salman Rushdie for having written The Satanic Verses. Ironically, I don’t believe Cristopher Hitchens—Rushdie’s great pal—has said a word in condemnation of these calls to kill Assange. He’s condemned Assange—but not any of these calls to kill him.

But I digress.

None of these people have condemned the New York Times—which I find weird: After all, the classified and secret State Department documents were published by the Times before they were published by Wikileaks.

So if Assange/Wikileaks ought to get lynched for being a “terrorist”, shouldn’t the Times’ editorial staff wind up swinging from the branches of the same tree? You know: As “co-conspirators” or “fellow terrorists” or something? 

But again: I digress.

No matter how vitriolic—not to say borderline insane—these people might get, they are merely private citizens. They are certainly influential, but they do not have their hand on any lever of real power. 

But what about figures in the government? What about people with real power—what are they doing about Assange and Wikileaks.

Well, they’ve been busy. 

Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is the ranking Republican member of the House’s Homeland Security Committee; he will be the Committee’s chairman in the new Congress. He has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to Attorney General Eric Holder, asking that Julian Assange and Wikileaks be declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Source is here

We’re not talking here about some marginal Mickey Mouse figure, jumping up and down on the sidelines and demanding in a ridiculous helium-high voice of a cartoon character, “Get the terrorists! Get the terrorists! Get the terrorists!”—

—no: Rep. King is a powerful man, soon to be the Chairman of a very powerful House Committee, demanding that the State Department and the Department of Justice have Assange and Wikileaks declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization. 

This is no joke: If Rep. King succeeds in having the designation applied to Wikileaks—and as of this writing, there is every reason to think that he will—then any American who interacts with Wikileaks, including by way of donations, technical assistance, even legal assistance, can be prosecuted as aiding and abetting a foreign terrorist organization—and that’s serious jail time, not to mention ruined-life time. The State Department criteria, list of, and effects of being designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization can be found here.

That’s not all: The Obama administration reminded all Federal workers at all levels of government that reading any of the documents of the Wikileaks’ State Department cable dump “would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the Federal government.” Source is here.

For its part, the American military has not only warned its members not to look at the documents, it has in fact cut off access to websites which might carry the information, including Foxnews.com, the New York Times’ website, CNN.com, and other such mainstream sites. Source is here.

The State Department has even made it clear to future recruits that if they access the documents anywhere, ever, they shouldn’t even bother applying for a job in Foggy Bottom: According to the Columbia University student news site, students at their School of International and Public Affairs received an e-mail from their Office of Career Services, warning them not to discuss on any social media site (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) the Wikileaks affair. Students were warned with the same letter the Obama administration used to warn Federal employees that looking at the material constituted a violation of the law. Source is here.

Now of course, one thing is obvious: None of these cables and documents that have so far been released are secret anymore. They are on the pages of the New York Times, and reprinted in countless other newspapers, websites and television programs. So pretending they are still classified is rather beside the point—isn’t it? And prohibiting people from seeing, or even reading about, or even commenting on information that is completely within the public realm is . . . Crazy? Illegal? Stupid?

But the effort from the Federal government continues on. 

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT)
Meanwhile, Rep. King’s counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), the Chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, has been busy as well—but with the private sector. 

Almost immediately after the Wikileaks release of the State Department cables started up, Sen. Lieberman demanded that Amazon, the online bookseller and retailer, rescind its hosting of Wikileaks—

—and Amazon complied: They cut off Wikileaks for unspecified reasons, even though the site has not been charged with breaking any law in the United States, much less convicted. 

Thus Amazon, at Sen. Lieberman’s bidding, deprived Wikileaks of the opportunity of reaching its intended audience.

Sen. Lieberman then invited any and all American private corporations to cease having any relationship with Wikileak—

—which prompted Paypal, the online payment exchange system, to terminate Wikileaks’ account. 

Paypal—which is a division of eBay—claimed it was shutting down its account because Wikileaks had violated its terms of service by engaging in illegal activities—

—but again, Wikileaks hasn’t even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted. (It is unclear whether Paypal kept the money they had so far collected on Wikileaks’ behalf. If they have kept the money, then I guess Paypal has stolen money that belongs either to Wikileaks, or to Wikileaks’ donors.)

Thus Paypal, at Sen. Lieberman’s bidding, deprived Wikileaks of funding by donors, which is how the organization has covered its costs.

Neither Assange nor Wikileaks has any possibility of redress, for these actions on the part of Amazon and Paypal. In a strictly legal sense, there are the civil courts and lawsuits and all the rest of it—an extraordinarily expensive and endless process, with an uncertain result. So in a practical sense, there is no redress for Amazon’s and Paypal’s denials of service. 

It should be no surprise that large corporations like Amazon and eBay instantly bowed to Sen. Lieberman’s pressure: Millions of dollars of these corporations’ revenues are dependent on their having cordial—not to say chummy—not to say crony-corrupt—relations with the Federal government at all levels—and with its most important members like Sen. Lieberman in particular. (For a detailed example of this sort of relationship, here’s my piece on former Homeland Security Agency head Michael Chertoff, and his crony-corrupt relationship with one of the manufacturers of the full body scans now being installed in airports.) 

Amazon and eBay know which team they want to be on: After all, Sen. Lieberman is the sponsor of the so-called “internet kill-switch” legislation, as part of the so-called “Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset” Act (S.3480). He has proposed and is supporting a law to have the U.S. Federal government interdict the internet, and control who has access to it, by executive decree.

All of this, of course, is done in the name of “protecting America”—hey, it says so, right on the bill: “Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset” Act. As Sen. Lieberman himself has said, he wants the Federal government to have the ability to shut down the internet because “right now China—the government—can disconnect its internet, we need to have that here too.” See? Protect the internet, by having the ability to shut it down. (“Burn the village, in order to save it”?) I’m not making this up—I wish I were: The video source is here

So from the point of view of Amazon and Paypal/eBay, it’s wise to cut off Wikileaks and stay on Sen. Lieberman’s good side: Because if and when the U.S. Federal government decides to shut down “subversives” on the internet (including Your Humble Blogger—apparently, I already have a Homeland Security Agent assigned to me, which is very flattering), at least everyone in America will still have access to the knick-knacks and doo-dads being sold by Amazon. And conveniently, they’ll be able to pay for these trinkets with Paypal. 

Apparently, MasterCard and Visa thought that staying on the right side of Sen. “Tailgunner Joe” Lieberman was a smart thing, too: Following Paypal’s lead, the credit-card oligopolies cut off Assange’s and Wikileaks’ accounts.

Again, there is no possibility of redress, no way for Assange and Wikileaks to appeal these arbitrary decisions.

And because Paypal, MasterCard and Visa form an online payment oligopoly, there’s really no way around their actions: These three companies cut off Assange/Wikileaks ability not only to solicit fudns from the public, but to function in the modern world.

The press has really liked that—cutting off their money.

There’ve been a number of editorials and snide comments from media figures about how effective these denials of service by Paypal, MasterCard and Visa have been at crippling Assange and Wikileaks—too many to mention, except for one in particular, which sort of leapt out at me:

In The Daily Telegraph, a newspaper I ordinarily enjoy, their technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos wrote a column about Assange and Wikileaks which ended with the following lines: 
“It will take a truly Herculean—and harmonious—effort by government and business to keep these dangerous extremists in check. But at least now we know how to go about it. Follow the money.”
Notice the term: “Dangerous extremists”. As if that were justification enough, to target Assange and Wikileaks.

Another word that leapt out at me was “harmonious”: As if the good and true and natural state of affairs between governments and large businesses is as smooth as well-greased gears.

Don’t think Yiannopoulos is some old fogey—from his picture, I’d guess he was about fourteen, though realistically he’s probably in his mid-twenties. But you can practically feel the glee when he envisions that harmonious union between governments and business—practically orgasmic.

Like the schoolyard weakling, who has the chance to be best friends with the two biggest, meannest bullies on the block—so he eagerly sings their praises while he skips along beside them, chattering all the while with the docile eagerness of an abused dog. 

That’s been the fairly typical outlook of a lot of journalists covering this story, especially younger, more ambitious journalists; Yiannopoulos’ corporatist mentality is not a rare or odd thing.

Indeed, those who really aren’t on the inside of the corporatist loop (as journalists are not, by definition), but who very badly want to be on that inside track (as so many young and ambitious journalists want to be), are self-consciously trying to distance themselves from Wikileaks as fast as their pitter-patter feet can carry them—even as they try milking every teat of this story.

For instance, Henry Blodget’s Business Insider has run countless stories on Assange/Wikileaks, even though it’s really not a business story—including a story this past Monday called “Remember When Julian Assange and Wikileaks Were Cool?”

Blodget’s pseudo-hip business site (a typical story “10 Things You Need to Know This Morning” is accompanied by the gratuitous close-up of a super-model) said that Assange had committed the sin of venting “tired and predictable political attacks”, and that he had become “boring”.

Mm-hmm.

In the financial blogosphere, it’s well-known that Blodget’s outfit is a bright and shiny lemon—a serious money-loser Blodget is trying to cash out of by selling it to some poor unsuspecting dumb money. So under that lens, it becomes clear why he’s editorially positioning Business Insider at a distance from Assange, even as he’s running stories about Wikileaks for the sake of his traffic numbers: Blodget doesn’t want to piss off the money-men or their goverenment allies, when it comes time unload his boondoggle.

Like the Telegraph’s Yiannopoulos, like Blodget’s Business Insider, there are plenty of news organizations trying to distance themselves from Assange and Wikileaks, even as they milk the story for all they are worth—trying to at once boost their numbers with the story, while at the same time lick the boot of their corporate masters.

The godsend to most of these media outlets—a godsend that at once allows them to titillate their audience and thereby draw it in, yet moralize and look down on Assange/Wikileaks, while at the same time providing them with an escape hatch so that they can distance themselves completely, if the Assange/Wikileaks story blows up—has been the sex crime allegations against him.

After all, sex sells.

(I swear to God, between the State Department leaks, the computer hacking, and the sex crime allegations, this whole mess is like a Mexican telenovela—growing more and more absurd each passing day, yet riveting for the very fact of its absurdity!)

Since last August, Assange has been having a confused, confusing legal wrestling match with Swedish prosecutors, who are trying to have him extradited for a sex crime against two women.

Last August—on the heels of the “Collateral Murder” video release—these prosecutors leaked to the media that they were seeking an arrest warrant of Assange on these allegations. But then, within a day of the announcement, they quickly backtracked, and the whole thing went away.

But then it re-emerged, like a jack-in-the-box: Just as the State Department cable leak broke around the world, Swedish prosecutors revived the rape allegations—and this time, they issued an international arrest warrant, backed up by Interpol.

What is the sex crime Assange is alleged to have committed?

Everyone, of course, assumes it’s rape—at least! An international arrest warrant? Of a figure as publicly well-known as Assange? In the middle of a controversy like this? It better be the rape of a couple of 80+ year-old virgin nuns—one of them wheel-chair bound—complete with video footage from multiple camera angles, Dolby 5.1. Digital Surround-Sound, and Assange—on camera—screaming at the top of his lungs, “I am Julian Assange! And I am raping these nuns!”, while he holds aloft his open passport, with his photo clearly showing—at least!

But what are the actual allegations of this sex crime?

According to Swedish prosecutors, Assange had consensual sex with two different Swedish adult women in early August of this year on two separate occasions. (Hey, good for him.) But while having sex with the first woman, the condom broke, though they completed the sex act. While with the second woman, Assange had consensual sex with her while using a condom, but then the next morning had consensual sex with her without a condom.

After both assignations, all was copacetic between Assange and each of these two NGO groupies—until they found out about each other.

That’s when they decided that they felt “victimized” by Assange. That’s when they decided to file charges against Assange.

The sordid specifics can be found here in this piece by the UK’s Daily Mail. They are doing the best reporting on the specifics of the sex charges against Assange—but lest you get the wrong idea, they’re by no means fans of Assange/Wikileaks: On the contrary, The Daily Mail is editorially conservative, and highly critical of what it perceives as the leftward tilt of the BBC. Yet The Daily Mail thinks that the whole set of charges against Assange is bullshit.

Apparently, it’s not bullshit in Sweden: The Swedes want Assange to stand trial for rape, and a possible two-year prison term—even though none of the ordinary conditions required for rape apply to this case. There was no violence or threat of violence, there was no use of employment or other power dynamic to coerce either woman, and both were consenting adults of sound mind and body. As I said, even the prosecutors acknowledge that the sex was consensual.

Indeed, the closer you look at the charges, the bigger the pile of bullshit seems to be.

But these nuances—the basic ridiculousness of these “sex crime” charges—are not being highlighted in a lot of the mainstream media’s coverage. Quite the opposite, in most of the media covereage, the sex crime allegations are the first thing mentioned when discussing Assange. Or as in this fairly disgusting NY Times piece, the charges are aired so as to drum up readership, then something completely random is discussed that has no bearing on the Assange case, in order to fill up column-inches.

The Swedes demanded that the UK extradite Assange, who surrendered of his own volition to British authorities once the extradition request went through.

Which highlights another subtle lie of the mainstream media, which has acted as if helicopters and men with guns were hunting Assange down night and day, high and low, throughout the English countryside—just as if he were a terrorist on the run.

But he’s not a terrorist. He’s not on the run: Assange has been in hiding in southern England—but the British police knew exactly where he was, because he was in hiding from the press, not from the authorities. Once the Swedish extradition request went through, he promptly surrendered to the British authorities, of his own volition.

To hear the press accounts—again, so numerous it doesn’t need mentioning—you’d think commandoes had finally caught him after months in some rocky wasteland—

—you know: Like the terrorists.

Once in custody, Assange was denied bail. That he was denied bail was reasonable: It doesn’t mean he’s any guiltier of these bullshit charges. It just means that, since Assange has no ties to England, the magistrate determined he was a flight risk, so denied him the privilege of bail. Perfectly reasonable, but most mainstream news media reported the information as if it somehow made him guiltier still.

As the case now stands, Assange is waiting extradition to Sweden. According to The Independent, once he is in Swedish custody, the United States plans to demand his extradition—even though he hasn’t committed any crime in the U.S.—for the purposes of prosecuting him under a vaguely worded espionage law written in 1917, and which has actually never been applied—

—what is McCarthyism?

It’s a simple question.

I started this survey of reactions to Julian Assange and Wikileaks with a couple of other simple questions, questions about the definitions of words we use every day: Terrorist. Criminal.

So as a bonus, here’s another one—a final one:

What is McCarthyism.

McCarthyism is the arbitrary labelling of an individual as belonging to a widely and justly abhorred group, a labelling carried out by a powerful official but without any evidence and without due process, resulting in the systematic intimidation, isolation, and even ruin of that individual.

In other words, it’s a witchhunt.

The government and the media have systematically labelled Julian Assange a terrorist, and labelled Wikileaks as a foreign terrorist organization.

There is no evidence that he is a terrorist. On the contrary, the circumstances of the situation go to show that Assange is not involved in what is generally agreed to be terrorism: He has engaged in neither violence nor intimidation, in order to achieve his political goals.

The Swedish government and the media have further labelled Assange a sex criminal—even though there is ample proof that he is not.

Yet this has not prevented the mainstream media from labelling him as such—it is the first thing mentioned about Assange, whenever a story related to the State Department cable leak is discussed.

Terrorist.

Sex criminal.

(Rapist.)

This kind of smearing, isolation, and persecution, is the very definition of McCarthyism.

Just like in Salem, just like in the 1950’s—rather than call them “witch” or “Communist”, we call them “terrorist” or “sex criminal”.

From this starting point, the New McCarthyism isolates the target, with no possibility of redress—

—then strips the target of their ability to earn a living—of their very ability to function in the world—

—and then strips them of their freedom.

All in order to keep America safe: Safe from the “terrorists”—like Assange.

Evidence? None. Due process? None. The New McCarthyites need no such niceties—the label of “terrorist” is enough, to start the process. And there are plenty of people in the corporations and in the media who jump on this bandwagon, and ride it against the intended target—trampling that target into the ground, with never the possibility of redress, or justice. 

But what about the governments? What about the media? What about the global financial corporations—monopolies and oligopolies by any other name?

Haven’t they indulged in a little bit of terrorism of their own?

They have so far refrained from using violence against either Julian Assange or Wikileaks. (I put no stock in that bullshit talk about “virtual violence” or some such: Violence is violence, and so far, none has been applied to Assange or Wikileaks. So far.)

However, governments, the media, and the global financial corporations have without question used blatant intimidation to achieve their political goal—which is to silence Assange and Wikileaks, and to serve as a stark warning to anyone else thinking of taking up his mantle.

The American government—by way of “Tailgunner Joe” Lieberman—has used intimidation, to force corporations to financially damage and isolate Assange and Wikileaks.

The American government—by way of the State Department missive—has used the threat of loss of work and even imprisonment to keep Federal workers, officers and soldiers and sailors of the military, and prospective State Department officials, from so much as reading or discussing information which is already—spectacularly—in the public realm.

The American government—by way of Rep. King’s call to have Wikileaks declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization—is moving into the position whereby it could extra-judicially murder Julian Assange: Murder a foreign national, who has broken no law in America, and who according to the Pentagon has caused no harm to any American, except to the dignity and self-regard of some D.C. blowhards.

The Swedish government—by pursuing what are clearly bogus sex crime allegations—has simultaneously smeared Assange, and served him up on a platter, for further persecution by the American government. One cannot call it “prosecution”, when he has clearly not broken any law in the United States—it is persecution, plain and simple.

Global financial oligopolies have ruined Assange’s and Wikileaks’ ability not merely to raise money, but to carry out most basic financial transactions—capriciously and without justification: If it were legal and justified, they would have done the same to the New York Times, which after all published the material before Wikileaks did.

These are the New McCarthyists. This is how they operate: Call the enemy “Terrorist!”, and begin the hunt. And as far a I can see, there is no way to fight these New McCarthyists—there is not even the possibility of appeal, or redress, or justice.

I am not necessarily sympathetic to Assange and Wikileaks. I don’t agree with their basic mission of a world without secrets.

Governments should have the ability to keep certain information secret. To give a couple of obviously indisputable examples: The name of a sexually violated child in a criminal proceeding, or the exact blueprints for a nuclear weapon. These are bits of information which should not be released, likely under any circumstances: Information which serves no useful purpose insofar as keeping governments honest and accountable, but which causes tremendous harm to individuals, or to the collective nation.

I object to the fact that Assange/Wikileaks does not recognize this, prima facie, as I tried to show earlier. As I have also tried to explain—though of course cannot prove—I suspect much of Assange’s and Wikileaks’ actions are motivated more by the urge for provocation, rather than for the social good.

But motives don’t matter—actions do.

It is clear to me—in fact it should be clear to anyone who is honest—that Assange and Wikileaks are not the terrorists: The real terrorists are governments, crony-corporate interests, and the servile media.

And these real terrorists are on the attack—as we have seen.

The reaction of the Wikileaks sympathizers in the hacking community—which is where Assange comes from—has been predictable: The hackers have begun their counter-attack.

In ordinary circumstances and previous generations, people protesting injustices perpetrated by the government would march on the street, riot, write editorials, and so on.

But with the attacks on Assange/Wikileaks, the push-back of the people has been by way of computer hacking attacks.

Already, MasterCard, Visa and Paypal’s sites have all suffered attacks, as have other sites. In all likelihood, as they do not achieve their goals of having Assange freed and Wikileaks allowed to continue undisturbed, these cyber attacks will increase in ferocity—

—and inevitably, the government, the corporations and the mainstream media will interpret this as “terrorism”.

It’s so predictable, the New McCarthyism: You already know what they are going to say and do.

The New McCarthyites will call the pro-Wikileaks hackers “terrorists!”—ignoring the fact that the hackers are reacting to the terrorism perpetrated by the governments, the corporations, and the media. (And yes: The parallels to the ongoing mess that is the Middle East and America’s involvement there—where America’s “fight against terrorism” is the very cause that creates the terrorism that needs to be stamped out—are eerie.)

And as the hacking counter-attacks by Assange/Wikileaks’ hacker-allies continues and increases, the New McCarthyites will insist and insist and insist that “We have to defend America!”—

—the end is predictable: In this particular battle in the ongoing war between corporate interests and individual rights, the net effect will be that “Tailgunner Joe” Lieberman will get his way: The “Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset” Act will pass into law, complete with the internet kill-switch “Tailgunner Joe” so badly wants.

After all, the Chinese have it too.

Here is the first part of this post, “The Case of Wikileaks, Part I—The Hacker’s Treehouse
Please also read other pieces I’ve written on these issues:
• “Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?
• “Corporate Entitites As Modern Day Street Gangs
And to my Homeland Security agent, J.F.P. (I don’t want to blow his cover), who I gather is surveilling my every move: Hi there!

62 comments:

  1. Incise article. The unfolding events confirm , to me anyway , the ugly face of the NEW USA.
    Say goodbye to the OLD USA , benevolent, well liked , say hello to a nascient Nazism still in its infancy but which will grow to proportions that will make the German Nazi machine seem mild in comparison.

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  2. I didn't rob you, I only drove the getaway car!

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  3. Your firefox problem is still there. I've narrowed it down to one of the javascripts from blogspot. It appears you're using the Page Designer from blogspot (Josh peteron's) rather than a static template from elsewhere.

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  4. Brownshirts will be on sale this Christmas for use in 2011. If you live in the US, practice your goosestepping and your Seig Heil.

    The McCarthyites are back..led by King and Leibermann, supported by known Nazi police state lovers Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the Hitler youth.

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  5. I wrote you a comment but must have pressed the wrong key as it did not appear. Or maybe it was the joke I wrote asking if it was safe to post comments on this blog ... ha, ha, ha.

    The point I made in my previous comment was not about freedom of speech and all that, what I did comment was on the "sexual crimes" part. I read in my local newspaper that one of the women had invited Assange to stay at her apartment and the other had obtained a somewhat fake Press Pass in the hopes of getting close to him and perhaps securing a date.

    What seems strange to me is how these two perfectly strange women met, exchanged notes on their sexual excapades and decided to report a crime. It seemes to me it was something carefully orchestrated and smells somewhat of entrapment! Not that I am defending him at all, it just seems so timely.

    Thanks for the fun posts, I really enjoy reading them. I do not always agree with you but I like the way you explain things so clearly and also the writing is superb!

    PS ... I just realized that on the previous post I did not write the weird letters to prove that I am a person and not a computer ... as if I knew!

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  6. The problem GL is that you still believe in truth and justice. If you accept that it no longer exists then you realize that you and assange are the real terrorists. Look at the 10 most interesting people list by barbara walters. Where is anyone of real interest? You must admit like the bison consumerism works for the sheeple. Just don't mind the two inches of steel that is coming to your frontal lobe

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  7. The remarkable irony in the government’s outrage at Wikileaks is the fact that our government (and its lapdog media) routinely utilizes leaks as part of its daily stock and trade. That’s the currency in Washington with its shadow system of barter between leakers and scribes. If the leaks are not intended for printing, they call them off the record or background, but there are plenty of leaks that are leaked with the express intent of having them printed; sometimes as salvos in a turf war and sometimes as a way to float trial balloons, spin public opinion, or signal the opposition. Bob Woodward ascended to his throne as the Dean of Washington “journalists” on a mountain of leaks. The genesis of the Valerie Plame scandal was a deliberate leak routed from an office on Pennsylvania Avenue. Quite simply, the vast majority of the stories reported in the media that are not attributed to a named source are... wait for it…. leaks.

    The outrage in Washington about Wikileaks is not that there are leaks per se; it is that the leaks were not sanctioned by the usual leakers, and further, the leaks were released without first passing through the usual gatekeepers in the media. The government is primarily angry that it was not in control of these leaks, and the press mainly upset that it got scooped.

    Although by now long clichéd, the harrumphing over Wikileaks is precisely akin to Captain Renault’s famous outrage at the gambling going on down at Rick’s cafe.

    The main sin of Mr. Assange is that he ventured outside the approved channels.

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  8. "'an anti-American operative with blood on his hands', though even the Pentagon has admitted that no harm has come to any American serviceman because of any of the Wikileaks revelations.

    No American servicemen, fine. I guess blood from Afghan sources and cooperatives don't count as blood?

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  9. I disagree with few in this blog by confusing the facts.
    #1= McCarthyism always has been comouflage under the "American-Goodism"

    #2= What America is suffering today is the Fascism from the judaism of ultra-right Using the control over the masses, and the financial-power of high levels, including the Press and Media to oppress the citizenry with fears, and speech-censorship of individuals.[Of coarse all this under the blankets of "Good-intentions"]

    #3= Gonzalo, please make up your mind in which side you are with?? You cannot seat your ass on two-chairs at the same time. [lacks adversity, and jornalism]

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  10. GL Thank you once again for saying what I am feeling about this very strange story. The sex charges seem designed to vilify but on examination seem silly. The comments outed in the stories are not that earth shattering (Batman & Robin etc). They just make American leaders seem like the two-faced bunch of manipulators they are. Who doesn't know the Saudis root for the Jews against Iran? It's all stuff I have seen before so who cares? Well our thin-skinned rulers care so they attack the messenger rather than the problematic source. If they don't want these stories to see the light of day - upgrade security. They seem like they are dumbfounded over how easy this was - or was it? I too suspect there's another Patriot Act getting ready to reign in more freedoms. Freedom of the press has always been a thorn in the side of our rulers. The print media is under control these days but the net is still free. And sadly, you are right - Homeland Security is the new Hoover's FBI - after every terrorist VS old communist label. The first rule is label them something hateful and threatening. This fellow is not a threat to the public - he's just shown us what are leaders really are... dangerous assholes.
    Kat

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  11. @ Anon
    "#3= Gonzalo, please make up your mind in which side you are with?? You cannot seat your ass on two-chairs at the same time. [lacks adversity, and jornalism]"

    My friend, you are confused as to the spectrum of politics these days. If you think that the "ultra-right" is causing the "American Goodism," you still believe the false right vs. left paradigm intended to confuse people. No, the traditional right and left in America are all on the far left side of collectivism. Those who can see past this charade realize that the bigger spectrum is that of individual liberty vs. collectivism. The traditional left and right give the appearance of fighting at opposite ends, but both march happily into the collectivist mindset.

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  12. "Ironically, I don’t believe Cristopher Hitchens—Rushdie’s great pal—has said a word in condemnation of these calls to kill Assange. He’s condemned Assange—but not any of these calls to kill him."

    You are apparently unaware that Mr. Hitchens is likely near death from esophageal cancer. That is likely the reason for his silence. Unfortunately, he will soon be permanently silenced forever.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130917506

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  13. We live in a Bannana republic. Not one Bank executive has gone to jail for creating the worst fnancial crisis in our life times. Yet we have sportstars like Bill Clemens, Barry Bonds etc being prosecuted. This whole Wilkileaks mess is a big joke in my honest opinion. The DOJ need to go after the real leak source.

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  14. I must amend my comment from 2:20 PM today; it appears that despite his cancer, Mr. Hitchens remains quite active. And in fact he has commented in Slate against Mr. Assange. I must apologize to you, Mr. Lira, for you are correct.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2276857/

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  15. The Grapes of Wrath Democrats

    For Obama and the Democrats, the new economic royalists are anyone with a taxable income over $200,000.

    By DANIEL HENNINGER

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703493504576007522687470638.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

    i really don't like WSJ Murdoch MEDIA.

    I'm a huge fan of Steinbeck's Joad Clan - great story/movie/Henry Fonda.

    Steinbeckian leftist commie initative vis-a-vis McCarthyism? iffin Senator Joe had his way, steinbeck woulda been sequestered for homeland security terrorism, water tortured, and sentenced to GitMo.

    "economic royalist" WTF?

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  16. As an American I wholeheartedly support Assange and Wikileaks. I don't care what his intentions are. His is the first organization that struck a blow to the most evil, murderous, Authoritarian regime on the face of this planet. How many innocent Iraqis has The Americzn military killed? How many Pakistanis? How many Afghans? Hilarious to see the "good Germans" posting about Assange having blood on his hands! Show me one shred of evidence that these leaks killed anybody. I have yet to see any story cited by anybody that somebody actually died as a result of wikileaks. Americans are evil people. Their greed caused them to look away as our leaders killed, maimed, stole, and corrupted the middle east. Millions of deaths (just google allbright Stahl the price is worth it) later a few angry Arab men take revenge and Americans have the gall to act like they are innocent victims. The US is evil. Everything humanly possible should be done to bring it down. Americans deserve to be starving in the streets.

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  17. As the saying goes: Past behavior predicts future behavior.

    The USA has been here before.
    One has only to look up the Pentagon Papers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers

    Julian Assange is our present day Daniel Ellsberg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg

    The difference being that Julian Assange is not a US citizen, and Daniel Ellsberg is.

    The actions of the US administration are pure idiocy, one has to question the intelligence of prominent people such as the “Deplorable Sarah Palin” and yes, to me she is Deplorable, and I find her nauseating.

    After reading the documents on Wikileaks (There goes my future job prospects with the CIA) it was interesting to note the comments on Vladimir Putin:
    Link: http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/12/09MOSCOW2946.html
    Warning: If you’re a US citizen, your freedom is at risk by opening this link.

    I cannot imagine Sarah Palin even coming close to exuding the same confidence and leadership as Putin.

    Clearly this is what America needs at present, America needs to act responsibly.

    By openly stating that citizen cannot read these documents when they are now openly available is extremely dangerous, and displays an arrogance that is alarming.

    Undoubtedly it will demonstrate to US citizens that they are not as free as they think they are.
    This is not what FREEDOM is. This is FEAR.

    GL: Great read. I would love my very own Homeland Security Agent, does he run errands for you??

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  18. I was able to get a donation through via MasterCard after they'd officially started blocking Wikileaks by following the donation link to Datacell Switzerland. The charge shows up as "Sunshine Press", so apparently didn't trip the block, at least as of Tuesday, December 7.

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  19. It seems cliche to call American's Nazis. But the Americans' copied the Prussian style of public schooling around 1900. It took about 60 years to get fully implemented but the results are in today. Americans worship their leaders like Gods. They believe anything the corrupted media feeds them. Anything for "the homeland". America the "indispensible" nation. This is why we are so doomed though. We have been raised since childbirth not to think for ourselves and believe in our political system to solve all ills and to know who our enemies are. If the banking crisis didn't wake these POD people up nothing will.

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  20. I have a question(s) for GL and others.

    Did the KGB have all this information years ago? How about the Chinese or the Saudis? The Brits?

    I think they all had this this in real time. If some clown could download all this then so could they.

    If that were the case it would change things quite a bit. The state secrets weren't so secret. They were secret from the public but the intelligence community was laughing their heads off.

    There is much more to this story than we are told.

    Another question please? How many many men have been charged with rape for not wearing a condom in Sweden over the last year? Ten years?? Twenty years???


    As a blog writer who tries to rattle the trees a bit; it makes me afraid.

    Bruce Krasting

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  21. How many Americans have read Milton Mayer's "They thought they were free".
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html
    What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security.
    "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. …the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
    …It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you… we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing
    Each step was so small… unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
    … Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last… You wait for the next and … You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others…will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear…it is also genuine uncertainty.
    "Uncertainty is a very important factor…Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest… you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or .. ‘You’re an alarmist.’
    "And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end...In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
    "And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

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  22. Those who point a finger of accusation, point three at themselves. Assange may have many faults, as do we all, but terrorism isn't among them. Gotta find me some deserted island, like Gilligan, and quit this messed up world.

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  23. I wish to object to your article - on behalf of former (now deceased) Senator Joe McCarthy.

    He CORRECTLY named many Communists in various positions of influence in many areas of American life at his time. Long-delayed archives (see the Verona cables) confirm that his targets WERE communists. I am aware of only TWO of his many selected Communists who MIGHT not have been so - and the evidence against them is still under debate.

    Will you recognize the terrible slander you have just perpetuated once again, apparently without reading either the Verona documents, the records of the time or Ann Coulter's recent book?

    Would you welcome such a treatment yourself?

    Please retract your inaccurate slander of Senator McCarthy, and stop spreading these lies about what he tried to do in the 1950s to prevent the spread of Communism in America.

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  24. Note to anonymous: if you wish to restore the honor of the late Senator, I suggest you start by not quoting the works of Ms. Coulter, particularly in citation as a work of history.

    On the other hand, if you didn't rely on Coulter for your information, you wouldn't be trying to rewrite Joe's legacy.

    So carry on then.

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  25. I've watched this entire thing with Assange with much interest as it really a preview of where we're going. The tentacles of the oligarchs are everywhere and the structure is already in place to shut down whomever they feel they need to without that person having redress. As a matter of fact, that is the not so subtle message that's being sent here to all observers. This whole affair made me think of all the robots that are sent out over the blogosphere to index what's written here. It would be a fairly easy matter to use that information to shut down "subversive" blogs and basically eliminate free speech over even this sort of forum.

    It's clear to me where we're going here and there's a limited amount of time left where open unfettered political discussion will be allowed on the web. The Assange affair is a wake up call only because it's occurred in full view, but that doesn't mean that what happened to Assange has not been done before; it just occurred out of view. We can say for certainty that Assange-like attacks have been done before, the only difference here is that they wanted you to "see" this one so a shot gets fired across everyone's bow, hence all the prominent press coverage.

    We're already at fascism here in America and in the rest of the world too. As someone said, it just occurred quietly while we gorged ourselves on sports, entertainment and other diversions.

    The more I keep thinking about all of this, the more I'm thinking that an off grid existence is the way to go.

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  26. Very long winded and stupid post on an hideously designed free blog from a "film" maker that is fraught with illogical flights of fancy and outright stupidity that only a simpleton on the left would envision.

    Assange, Manning and Wikileaks have engaged in espionage during a time of war and have aided Jihadists in their fight against the West by exposing sensitive diplomatic and military secrets. Manning the homosexual is a traitor while Assange the narcissist/rapist is an enemy combatant providing access to military and diplomatic intelligence and should be terminated at our earliest convenience preferably in a European city for an example to the Euro-Trash Left.

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  27. Say goodbye to the OLD USA ... well liked..

    I'd really love to visit the planet you come from where this is true because it does not represent the world I've known for the past several decades, at the very least.

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  28. If the government wants to keep its secrets safe they should keep them with Obama's college transcripts and his citizenship papers.

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  29. Very well spoken and eloquently written Gonzalo. I respect honest jouralism and honest reporting. Yes, Julian Assange has committed no crime at all. I think any of us that are truley aware of the ways of corporations and the US government are not really shocked. We don't really have leaders in the world any more. In Canada we feel the same. However my true feeling is if we want a better life for our future generations the time to take back what rightfully belongs to the people is "NOW". If we don't act soon it will be too late. the 20% of us that are smarter and know better must lead the charge. If these corporate chains are not broken then it will only get worse. I have ideas and I will be posting them on my site soon. I cannot remember the author right now but it was a favorite quote my mother used to tell me....."all that is required for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing". The time to act is NOW.

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  30. There are two psyops operations going on at the same time. The First is that Assange is a terrorist and all ideologies, for their own good, must subscribe to this. The second, is more insidious, worthy of Goebbels and his WH accolyte Sunstein, the propaganda czar. The internet must be censored and controlled. That's been the stated goal of the Marxists/Progressives/Communists among us. Just listen to the speeches of Stern, Krumka and other union bosses, the entrenched DC corruptocrats like Lieberman and King; soon Couric, and NPR and even Fox News will be calling for Government control, all of course for national security reasons, just like Andrew Maguire was not allowed to testify at the CFTC hearing in March; wouldn't want to let the sheeple know that the FED and the TBTFs are presiding over a rigged commodity and stock market. I would advise Lira, Durden, GATA members, Ron Paul, et al to watch their backs; many in the Clinton and Bush Administrations had strange suicides.

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  31. wer Dreck am Stecken hat sieht natuerlich nicht gern wenn den jemand aufwirbelt, also Reinemachen
    Freunde...MACHT DOCH ENTLICH MAL REINEN TISCH, SO
    KANN`S DOCH NICHT WEITERGEHEN!!!

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  32. While I don't doubt your intent that we be free of tyrannical govt., Govt DISinfo is deep, complex and multi-layered. For example, consider if Julian Assange is a patsy, as independent media are now widely suggesting is likely. Sara Palin is not pro Tea Party, she is another puppet. Glenn Beck can get sabotaged or fired or "suicided" any time such fits a larger seemingly contradicting govt. posture. Etc., etc. Please, Do Not Trust Big Media, or Big Money, or the surface appearances.

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  33. ARBEIT MACHT FREI...

    "It is clear to me—in fact it should be clear to anyone who is honest—that Assange and Wikileaks are not the terrorists: The real terrorists are governments, crony-corporate interests, and the servile media."

    - Create an 'enemy'

    - Marginalize the 'enemy'

    - Provide the Solution, to the 'enemy'

    - Take/Destroy the 'enemy'

    Of course, there are a few subtitles in between, but for the sake of brevity...

    It's coming fast folks. Pretty soon it will be coming HARD. You're living it real time - so it seems like slow-motion, but it's not.

    Dear Gonzalo:

    When referring to Sarah Palin and the 'Tea Party' in the same breath - please don't...

    The Tea Party - as originally formed by Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty, bears little resemblance to the wishes of a Sarah Palin. To wit, the diametrically opposite comments made by these two recently, regarding Mr. Assange.

    The Tea Party as it were - like any good idea that should not go to waste (Rahm...), has been Co-opted/Pirated by factions of the Neo-Con, War-anywhere-and-everywhere-all-the-time-for-any-reason-we-so-choose, 'tea party'.

    Thank you -

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  34. Finally....some good sense is being displayed by a reasonable mind and yet all the comments are from the same idiots we gotta listen to all the time...like Palin and O'Riley. Please Americans....screw your heads on straight and stop trying to recreate McCarthyism yet again. How do we come off accusing this guy (Assange) of anything? He simply has published what has been leaked to him....and our (US) constitution grants him the right to do so. And you should thank whomever you worship for that.

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  35. Lew Rockwell is the American canary for me. When the Feds arrest or kill him it is time to hide out in the back country. That is why I live in Washington State. The American "great leap" is coming. Better prepare.

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  36. Thank you for this post. Very challenging. Worthy of substantial reflection and thought. I agree that some in the media, like O'Reily, have overreacted, and that Assange, as a foreign national, cannot be guilty of treason against the United States.

    But, for now, I want to address a narrow question addressed by this piece.

    "He’s not a criminal, at least not in the United States, because he has not broken any law in America, and he is not an American citizen, subject to U.S. jurisdiction."

    I know jurisdictional analysis when I see it, and that is a far cry from it. It's outrageously bogus to argue that only U.S. citizens are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

    The rest of the piece is persuasive enough, but this part of it brings the persuasive parts down, casting doubt on them. The author should not have made an off-the-cuff remark on the technical legal question of jurisdiction. Political commentary is one thing. Specialized legal questions are another. Not all legal questions should be politicized.

    Tim.

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  37. Gary said...

    Assange, Manning & Wikileaks are heroes of the highest order and I will make as many donations to them in the future as my finances allow. I could care less if this gets me labeled a terrorist. In fact, I'd view it as a badge of honor.

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  38. "He’s not a criminal, at least not in the United States, because he has not broken any law in America, and he is not an American citizen, subject to U.S. jurisdiction."

    Not true at all. He's broken numerous laws against distributing classified material. Now whether you want to argue against those laws is another case...And please, tell Manuel Noriega that non-citizens are are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

    Have you been asleep while the US abducts people -- Extraordinary Rendition, I believe -- and whisks them to secret prisons around the world? Point is, the powers that be have written all this into law -- and that's what sucks about this country.

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  39. I enjoy reading Gonzalo's articles. He is brilliant and definitely has cojones.

    I agree with his observations regarding Business Insider. Should one dare blog on BI about the elephant in the room (ie., the hidden elite that controls Wall Street, MSM, Hollywood and DC) their blogging will be pigeon hole as SPAM. So much for the 1st amendment Henry! What a patriot?

    I disagree with Gonzalo as to Joe McCarthy, I consider him a great crusader against the commies in the US. We should never forget the commie traitors who gave the Soviets the secrets to the Atom bomb. But for these commie traitors, the Soviets and Red Chinese would have been castrated in the 1950s.

    As to Assange, I am not sure whether he is an Mossad asset (one cannot help but notice that nothing negative came out about Israel) or a sincere Whistle blower nerd who wants to help democracy stay viable. I suspect the former.

    I agree that Joe Lieberman is an extremely dangerous person who seeks to control the power of the internet to take down MSM and Hollywood's propaganda machine. Joe Lieberman is a traitor.

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  40. Gonzalo,
    As you indicated the entire Assange’s melodrama presents too many internal contradictions to be a clean cut story. It seems to me that short of being an intelligence operative, he has been placed at the center of media attention with the only intention of playing parties to elicit change. Change in the way we perceive and assess the need for central control / government intervention. So, either; operative, asset or patsy or a mix along his Intel grooming. Assange is the joker on the table to those who knowingly or not are playing the game or being played.

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  41. Any organization's information tree begins with individual observations and comments, which foster internal discussion and debate, are vetted through layers of viewpoints weighing benefit versus harm relative to goals, and eventually find their outlet in a hopefully constructive external message and policy.

    As a result, the US State department did NOT receive as much a black eye as the US haters hoped for, because most countries understand the messages were not ultimately the official US foreign policy, and instead only tangential bits and pieces of periphery.

    To the US IS ALWAYS WRONG crowd populating this comments board: What does it take to trigger and espionage charge, or a treason charge?

    Look, I am all for the role of journalists to keep the powerful in check, but ... simply because something is powerful does not automatically make it unjust. The US IS ALWAYS WRONG crowd will never consider any foreign policy act of the US to be virtuous.

    The guilty are the Private who stole the information, and any more like him, the state department and military for allowing such an access gap, and Wikileaks, for their acts against the US.

    As GL notes, Wikileaks motives are easily seen as punitive in their warped view of reality. Like all petulant juveniles, they do not know how to build, but instead only know how to destroy, and destroy not with precision, but with abject disregard for any and all who would stand in their way to achieving eternal glory, 72 virgins, and unlimited sexual advantages from swooning Swedish females.

    As for solutions, how about a simple one, remove most physical USB port access on the computers housing accessible state department traffic, limiting ability of IT personnel in the militiary and state department to steal it.

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  42. Please read Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans. Senator McCarthy was a patriot who took on widespread communist infiltration of the US government during FDRs terms when allying with the Soviet Union was considered necessary in the war against the Nazis. Truman and Tydings conspired against him successfully because they did not want the citizens to know the depth of betrayal. Only Hoover's FBI comes out somewhat clean, but the State Dept. the CIA, the academia, and hollywood were all deeply infiltrated. Too bad Clooney didnt tell the truth in his movie on Edward Morrow to set the record straight. Clooney knew that Annie Lee Moss was an admitted communist as history and the Verona papers have revealed yet he played out the party line on her innocence in the movie. Fighting both his own government and the communists, McCarthy was able to out or otherwide disrupt sigificant communist activity in the US.

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  43. this smells bad; governments are spending too much effort on calling a journalist a terrorist.
    the cover up is obvious.
    the empire is over.
    the king is naked.

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  44. Assange does now seem to be an official criminal, as the U.S. Attorney General is trying to indict him on charges of espionage. http://news.antiwar.com/2010/12/10/us-eyes-espionage-act-charges-against-assange/

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  45. Joe "Israel First" Lieberman

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  46. Gonzalo:

    Everybody's acting like a bunch of atrasado mentales in this matter...

    I mean really who gives a shit...? Peter King - douche bag, Joe Lieberman - ass wipe.... Didn't we already know this...? You don't have to tell them that they're miserable pathetic A-HOLES because they already know this....

    I mean, Jesus Motherfucking Christ.... Who the FUCK GIVES A SHIT....? Just let these miserable fuckers kill each other off, trust me they will....

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

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  47. Peak Oil
    Peak Credit
    Peak everything
    Peak debit
    Peeking back at
    Home security
    Paid to watch mouse clicks
    critiquing sentence composition
    Peak double speak has goals
    an ambitions with maps marked with destinations.
    Do you correspond with the binocular wielding ornithologists?
    Organize a BBQ...

    Antidote|- Jethro Tull
    Watching the trains go by...-|
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2NBW-xRM64

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  48. To Anonymous up there, defending McCarthy:

    There's a saying that goes something like, it's better for ten guilty men to go free than to convict one innocent. There's some logic in it, if you think things like having a trustworthy system of justice are necessary.


    To GL, if he reads this:

    Your comment system seems really flaky, at least on Chrome. FYI.

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  49. Keep up the good work GL.

    Here is another recent event the financial oligopoly are utilizing to further enrich themselves again at the expense of the wellbeing of the US Middle Class....and yes, with the assistance of hte US Fed, Treasury, Congress, the Regulators, and a new partner - the local and state governments.....

    http://dmarkloyd.blogspot.com/2010/12/all-hail-ye-citizens.html

    Best....

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  50. The Guardian today released a cable from the Vatican revealing that the Pope believed that Catholics reading Wikileaks would suffer from an additional 6 years in purgatory for every cable read, but a special offer of dispensation of 1 year will be forgiven for a donation of one ounce of silver.

    Now from the sacred to the secular - We are at a turning point in the dissemination and the availability of information. The power elite controlling a system on the verge of a structural breakdown will make great efforts to control the flow of information.

    Without the volume and diversity of the collective exchange of communication that the Internet provides the dominate media that is controlled by the corporate/government collusion will create a mono narrative for the world's citizens.

    As with the Inquisition, Nazi propaganda, Orwellian Homeland Security mentality of fear and fascist management of information - Once again, all of us will be called upon to not falter from our ideals of justice and peace for all the world's citizens.

    GL, you are doing a fine job of keeping the barn doors of perceptive communication wide open. Thanks.

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  51. Besides, you also have many ???? (quess who) living in the country, who do much harm... You should know that the ??? (quess who) blaspheme and violate the name of our Savior day for day... for that reason you, Milords and men of authority, should not tolerate but expell them. They are our public enemies and incessantly blaspheme our Jesus Christ, they call our Blessed Virgin Mary a harlot and her Holy Son a bastard and to us they give the epithet of changelings and abortions. If they could kill us all, they would gladly do so: in fact, many of them murder Christians, especially those professing to be surgeons and doctors. They know how to deal medicaments in the manner of the Itahans - the Borgias and Medicis - who gave people poison which brought about their death in one hour or in a month.
    Therefore deal with them harshly as they do nothing but excruciatipgly blaspheme our Jesus Christ, trying to rob us of our lives, our health, our honor and belongings.

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  52. "As if the good and true and natural state of affairs between governments and large businesses is as smooth as well-greased gears."

    Wel is is nowadays in this fascist government!

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  53. @Todd - you are delusional. The government is now fascist! People don't hate the US, they hate the US Government run by the fascists!

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  54. "I suspect much of Assange’s and Wikileaks’ actions are motivated more by the urge for provocation, rather than for the social good."

    I'm not so sure about this. For starters, they are only publishing leaks that others put their careers on the line to release - it is these people that thought the information was important enough that the world should know about it. It wasn't something wikileaks decided.

    And secondly you should perhaps read up on the history of Queensland at the time Julian was growing up. A corrupt government kept in power by secrecy and a complicit media during his formative years (at least back then, many kids were into following that sort of stuff rather than being distracted by celebrities, sport or chicks). Wikileaks is trying to expose the media's role as much as the system - probably why so much of the media is against them.

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  55. Geez, m8 get your facts straight! Julian grew up in Melbourne Victoria. The likely most formative event was related to the cover-up of the British atomic testing at Maralinga and the persecution of those around him who were protesting. Please see:
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~suelette/underground/underground.txt
    which is almost an autobiography of Julian's early years. It is well publicised here that Julian == Mendax, at least all the facts fit.

    And thanks Gonzalo for a great blog!

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  56. This is really scary.... Especially the "protecting cyberspace as a national asset" bit. The Internet is the only tool we have against the people really creating fear, a.k.a.terrorists,the neo-cons, and if they get to have an internet "kill switch", then we can give up and submit to living under nazi rule.

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  57. I joined the libertarian party in 78, and have been contemplating our growing loss of freedom for many years. If you do a search for orwells boot I will come up either first or second, as either dnusbaum or factotum666. I think that I cover most of what is covered here, and explain the reasons for this happening. I am working on solutions and could surely use some help.


    By solutions I mean specific detailed courses of action many of which would get substantive public support.

    Also welcomed would be someone pointing out any errors in my facts, assumptions (axioms) or logic.

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  58. Where do you think that word BLOWHARD cums from...BLOWHARD..lieberman..BLOWHARD...KING says hahaha

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  59. I think the rape charges are not b.s.--this is rather common with 'celebrities' but must be dealt with. Google Mike Tyson and Kobe Bryant and rape. As for Wikileaks, the only issue I see is selective prosecution, meaning why go after just Julian Assange (note the word ASS in his last name) and not the NY Times and the other three papers that also have published Wikileaks? That's the only legal question of interest--the rest is pretty generic, I hate to say it.

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  60. Very good article. I have some experience with OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) which can be used to smear individuals as you have suggested. Contrary to your comments however, this government agency is used to apply US law to non-US resident foreign nationals who have not broken any law. You can sue this agency and you might expect to get some protection from the Constitution. The Court will then tell you that you have no constitutional rights, as foreign nationals are not entitled to the protection of the Constitution. Truly Kafkaesque, but it really happens.

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  61. Gross error in facts here;
    “(And yes: The parallels to the ongoing mess that is the Middle East and America’s involvement there—where America’s “fight against terrorism” is the very cause that creates the terrorism that needs to be stamped out—are eerie.)”
    The terrorist acts against America occurred first, and, occurred in great number with many deaths before America finally fought back. This is a sometime willing omission of facts in articles like this, but my opinion is that more often; it is a path of lesser resistance to just take up the media’s mantra than to strike out on one’s own with real journalism. The bewildering thing in this article is that Gonzalo Lira is more of a rebel in the journalism world than a lackey; doing his own fact finding and crisp comparisons and therefore getting it right more often than not (it’s amazing what one can do when basing arguments on facts). I do not at all see Lira as the standard media stooge that the Western Press has become known for turning out faster than MBA’s out of Harvard.
    Beyond that, this article was so much fun to read; it was more of a page turner than one of Tolkien's great fantasy's. While not condoning the pseudo terrorist’s actions, I certainly see the danger of allowing governments to label and execute rather than following something so mundane and outmoded as The Rule of Law.
    I see this as a great allegory to the smoking and health issue in the US. While I really enjoy eating out in restaurants more now that the health police have been allowed to ban the awful smoking habit from the structures formerly known as privately operated restaurants, I am painfully aware of what my enjoyment costs us freedom loving Americans. The US Government receives no power from the Constitutio9n to even weigh in on public health, let alone leverage fines and livelihoods to push liberty gobbling unconstitutional laws.
    There is certain war being waged against liberty. As Pogo once said in a comic strip long, long ago and far, far away, while McCarthy was going a tad overboard in his own brand of ignoring The Rule of Law, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
    Our elected officials, (sans the recently elected Tea Partiers) are stealing our liberty one unlawful law at a time. From the redistribution of wealth and the rezoning of voting districts, to the banning of tobacco, firearms and sugar, (insert new gov’t agency acronym here) we have not lived under the rule of law since FDR.
    Label and execute. McCarthyism for sure. One longs for the good ole’ days of communism and Hillary’s dainty boot of socialism.
    Thanks for the concise timeline.

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  62. The real answer would seem simple enough, just persecute the leakers! There seem to be more than just a few in the Government and big business. All Julian is doing is POSTING them.....

    This (Assange) scenario would have been like prosecuting the NY Times for telling us about the Watergate break-in during Nixon's reign of terror.

    The "brave new world" and "1984" are here folks.

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