Posted by: quiscus | December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

1.  “Despite Conclusive Evidence, White House Denies Clinton Ordered Spying

So far however US officials both past and present have met the leaks with complete dismissal, attempting to make the entire story about exactly how many people ought to be executed for embarrassing those in power. It seems that things like “proof” are too far outside their general field of expertise to even register.”

2.  “The traditional media has become so toothless it is reduced to attacking Wikileaks for doing its job properly.

Society is about roles, with groups pitted against each other in a bid to balance the outcome. The executive is given certain powers, for instance, while the legislature – constituted quite literally by the mates of the executive – is tasked with scrutinising its decisions. The same is true for international diplomacy. Diplomats strive for confidentiality. Journalists strive to uncover secrets. The fact that many columnists see fit to attack Wikileaks is evidence of how severely they have misinterpreted their mission statement.


The only difference between Wikileaks and other news organisations is that Wikileaks is doing its job properly. ”$21385948.htm

3.  “The moral standards of WikiLeaks critics

He’s certainly right when he says that “for a third time in a row, a WikiLeaks document dump has conclusively demonstrated that an awful lot of US government confidentiality is basically about nothing,” but I’d quibble with his next observation:


There’s no scandal here and there’s no legitimate state secret. It’s just routine for the work done by public servants and public expense in the name of the public to be kept semi-hidden from the public for decades.

It is a “scandal” when the Government conceals things it is doing without any legitimate basis for that secrecy.  Each and every document that is revealed by WikiLeaks which has been improperly classified — whether because it’s innocuous or because it is designed to hide wrongdoing — is itself an improper act, a serious abuse of government secrecy powers.  Because we’re supposed to have an open government — a democracy —  everything the Government does is presumptively public, and can be legitimately concealed only with compelling justifications.   That’s not just some lofty, abstract theory; it’s central to having anything resembling “consent of the governed.”

But we have completely abandoned that principle; we’ve reversed it.  Now, everything the Government does is presumptively secret; only the most ceremonial and empty gestures are made public.  That abuse of secrecy powers is vast, deliberate, pervasive, dangerous and destructive.  That’s the abuse that WikiLeaks is devoted to destroying, and which its harshest critics — whether intended or not — are helping to preserve.  There are people who eagerly want that secrecy regime to continue:  namely, (a) Washington politicians, Permanent State functionaries, and media figures whose status, power and sense of self-importance are established by their access and devotion to that world of secrecy, and (b) those who actually believe that — despite (or because of) all the above acts — the U.S. Government somehow uses this extreme secrecy for the Good.  Having surveyed the vast suffering and violence they have wreaked behind that wall, those are exactly the people whom WikiLeaks is devoted to undermining.”

4.  “Religion as a Tool of Repression

In this era of permanent war we see bumper stickers that attempt to meld religion with nationalism. They carry jingoistic slogans like “God bless America” or “God bless our troops.” Significantly, God even appears on our currency. But why would a just God, if God exists at all, bless a nation that kills with impunity? Why would God bless a nation with a history of repression and genocide? Why would God bless a nation that institutionalized chattel slavery and the repression of its working class?

The Anglo Saxons who came to America, most of them calling themselves Christians, virtually destroyed the indigenous population. They decimated native cultures and pillaged the land. They outlawed the Ghost Dance and other spiritual ceremonies. The Anglos forced Christianity upon the indigenous people. They gave them blankets infected with small pox so they would sicken and die. They stole their land and they slaughtered the buffalo. They murdered unarmed, half-starved elders, and women and children at Wounded Knee, and at a thousand other sites. Wouldn’t a just God, as the reverend Jeremiah Wright intimated, be more likely to damn than to bless America?

Even the teachings of Christ, which advocated giving alms to the poor and living simply, were appropriated by the theocracy of free market fundamentalism. To identify Christ with America’s agenda of war and occupation, to equate him with the genocide of indigenous populations, to associate him with senseless consumerism and repression of the working class, is to turn him into his polar opposite, the anti-Christ. This is the implicit meaning behind the nationalistic jingles of “God Bless America” or “God Bless our Troops.”


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