August 13, 2010

Proudly on Wikileaks' Side

I recently discussed the Pentagon's "demand" that Wikileaks cancel any plans to publish additional materials, and that Wikileaks "pull back" all the documents it has already released. It would appear the Pentagon believes that Wikileaks is staffed by monks living in secret caves, producing but a handful of illuminated manuscripts with infinite patience over many decades. "Pull back those illuminated manuscripts!" cries the Pentagon. "All nine of them!" So much for the U.S. government's understanding of the realities of the internet age. I suggest you avoid serious or prolonged contemplation of the fact that those who run the U.S. military combine the most frighteningly destructive power ever known to humankind with a level of understanding permanently halted somewhere around 1150 A.D.

About this earlier performance by the Pentagon, I observed: "If the Pentagon and its press secretary did not speak on behalf of a government that embodies unrelenting, world-historical evil, this would be merely funny. As it is, the amusement is that offered by especially vicious practitioners of Grand Guignol who are execrable farceurs. The laughter drips blood and suffering."

By his glorious refusal to obey the orders of serial murderers, Julian Assange has revealed that those who would rule us are entirely powerless once you withdraw your support. If you refuse to obey, if you say "No" -- and if you mean it, as Assange does -- they have nothing.

Since they have been rendered powerless in this encounter, but because they have no means of expression other than to continue this inept effort at Grand Guignol laced with the hysterical laughter of a deranged killer, the Pentagon offers us another chapter of this doomed attempt to regain a semblance of control:
The Pentagon says it believes the next document dump by WikiLeaks will be even more damaging to national security and the war effort than the organization's initial release of some 76,000 war files.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Thursday that the military believes it has identified the additional 15,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks has vowed to release.

Morrell declined to identify the documents other than to say that their exposure would be even more damaging than the thousands already published.
Consider the infinite tragedy of the Pentagon's dilemma.

Here we have the most fearsome military machine in history. At the moment, it continues a criminal occupation of one country (which country the U.S. has utterly destroyed, not coincidentally), an occupation which follows a criminal war of aggression, while the same military pursues a criminal war in another country. It also seeks to widen this war into additional neighboring countries, while it continues to threaten still more countries that refuse to behave exactly as the U.S. demands, although those countries are entirely within their rights to do so.

Simultaneously, the U.S. has launched operations "in at least 75 countries, and made "[p]lans ... for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world." And the U.S. continues to utilize torture systematically, as a "legitimate" method of waging war. Despite Obama's repeated claims to have "ended" torture, the U.S.'s use of torture has never ceased even for a moment (1, 2).

We must add that the current rulers of American Empire claim the "right" to murder anyone in the world, for any reason they choose -- or for no reason at all. Considering all these factors, one and only one conclusion is indicated, indeed compelled: the leaders of American Empire are war criminals. I repeat once more my constant refrain on this issue: if you read the linked post, you will see that this is not an arguable point in any respect. Since it cannot be argued, it is ignored completely.

So let's be sure to understand the Pentagon's position. Led and directed by war criminals, the Pentagon engages in criminal occupation, criminal war, the instigation of wider war, unceasing threats against non-existent dangers, and systematic torture. Of course, we could add much more to this list, but time is not unlimited. But according to the Pentagon itself, with regard to this monstrous and murderous behavior, we're now supposed to regret that Wikileaks' next release of documents might be "even more damaging to national security and the war effort"?

As the previous homicidal Leader of Empire was heard to say: "Bring it on!" Bring on more and more and more documents. Don't just "damage" the continuation of criminal war and murder: if you can, stop these bastards in their tracks.

One widely-read writer who consistently supports the Empire in its course of death and destruction recently stated that he thinks Assange is "a tool." For years, the same writer has propagated a vicious smear, maintaining that those who oppose the American Death State aren't antiwar, but "just on the other side." As with all smears of this kind, he carefully selects isolated instances of behavior that almost anyone would judge negatively, and focuses on a few individuals of questionable moral status. Using this meaningless and intentionally distorted foundation, he offers a very broad conclusion: that anyone who is seriously opposed to the American Empire's ceaseless campaign of conquest, brutalization and murder is "on the other side." (As one example, note the second item at the preceding link, concerning "Code Pink's head-scratching war on drones," which offers a typically complete inversion of the facts. By the way, it was Reynolds who approvingly linked the loathsome Varadarajan article discussed in the concluding section of this article, which is how I happened to see it.)

Julian Assange seeks to stop the murder and the torture. He seeks to stop the monstrous cruelty. He acts to protect innocent human life.

If this is what it means to be a "tool," if this is what being "on the other side" now signifies, then, yes: you bet your lying ass I'm on the other side, motherfucker.

Yet even now, I'm perfectly willing to be magnanimous on one point, and I'm prepared to acknowledge Reynolds' disdain for those who are merely "tools." Surely Reynolds himself is no tool, despite the fact that on every significant matter, he speaks on behalf of the ruling class and its agenda. (We will but note one rather glaring inconsistency. In the Age of Obama, Reynolds writes endless posts proclaiming that the government, and most especially the Democrats, aren't to be trusted on anything, most particularly not on anything to do with domestic and economic policy. In that realm, Reynolds considers them to be entirely ignorant, when not viciously punitive. Yet somehow, in one of those magical transformations that are never explained, when it comes to matters of war and murder, the government uniformly acts out of the highest motives and the deepest understanding, on behalf of liberty and peace. If Reynolds and his many followers have any complaint at all with regard to foreign policy, it is only that the United States doesn't bomb and kill enough. Thus, on economic and domestic policy: Worse than useless and ignorant. On war, conquest and murder: More, please! For the defenders of Empire, the contradiction doesn't even exist.)

But we decline to follow Reynolds' own example. We will not disparage Reynolds by calling him a "tool." Rather, we should adopt terms that he himself would seem to prefer: he is a fully knowing, intentional, systematic propagandist.

And I am "on the other side," on Wikileaks' side -- and very proudly so.