Sunday, December 5, 2010

He Who Leaks Last Leaks Best

War, like everything else, has evolved. It no longer involves the armies of nations and empires lining up on a field of battle and killing each other. It no longer involves troop movements and the taking of strategic territories to outflank the other side. It no longer involves bombing and killing until one side relents and then normalizing relationships. It no longer involves soldiers on one side or the other following unwritten rules of honor as they try to outmaneuver the other side. War has become a never ending endeavor.

War has evolved not so much because of technological advancements in weapons or because of epiphanies in superior tactics, but because of language. While the former factors might have served to change war to a point, they have been fairly meaningless in its evolution in the last few decades. Language has forced the meaning of war to change since the 1960s when President Johnson introduced the concept of conducting a war on poverty. Since then, the concept of murderous, destructive, genocidal, all out war has morphed to a concept of secretive, covert, manipulative wars complete with James Bond style agents and villains. War is no longer waged between nations, it is waged between ideologies. Scarier still, sometimes it is waged between elements inside governments against the people they are supposed to serve.

War is a racket. It is nothing more than a crime against humanity. The wars the government of the United States of America has decided to engage in are wars against the very principles the nation was founded upon. The war on drugs is a war on people and their ability to decide for themselves what products they want to consume. The war on terror is a war on freedom. It is a war fought by humiliating the masses into submission. It is not a war meant to keep you safe, as the propagandists would have you believe, it is a war meant to make you obedient to the point where you are actively aiding in your own enslavement. These are wars that claim you don't own your own self, but you are owned by the state.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not wars of defense, as many propagandists' talking points claim, they are wars of aggression. They are brutal occupations, pure and simple. There are no government sanctioned militaries lining up and fighting our troops in the hopes of glory and conquest. There are simply normal Afghan and Iraqi civilians arming themselves and banding together to defend their lands and assert their sovereignty. These poor slobs don't have the means to come over here nor do I believe they'd have the desire to if we hadn't gone over there in the first place. They most likely just want to be left alone to live their lives as best they can, the same as most anyone else. These are wars for profits and control of resources engaged in for the benefit of multi-national banks and the corporations they support and the military-industrial complex.

War isn't so much about destroying an enemy anymore so much as it's about disseminating and controlling information and manipulating public opinion. Enter into this environment Julian Assange and Wikileaks. It has been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. Mr. Assange and his organization have at least tried to repair that casualty and send it back into battle. I'm not sure how effective they've been at accomplishing this, but I can say that they sure have raised the ire of a lot of people. Mr. Assange has even managed to create a call for his assassination. Oh, the outrage! Yet what has he really exposed? What secrets are so important to illicit such dramatics?

Perhaps some people can't handle the truth. I don't know. There is much controversy swirling around Wikileaks, Mr. Assange, and the documents we can now all study. Some are claiming Mr. Assange and his organization are a CIA front and that this latest release of information is just a diversion. Others are claiming that Mr. Assange is a traitor even though he's Australian, so the only country he could be treasonous with is Australia.

Personally, I would find it suspicious if it turns out that George Soros actually does fund Wikileaks. The information put out there connecting the two is tenuous at best. It also may seem a little strange that there is information supporting some of the talking points that people use to justify their wars. What would one expect when so much information is leaked? None of that really matters. If this is a CIA plot it is an ill conceived one. We all know that wars are bad and crimes against humanity are committed while conducting them. We all know that governments lie and deceive in order to further their agendas even if their agendas lead to human suffering and death. I didn't need Wikileaks to prove that to me, but if it helps others to understand the true corrupt nature of government I guess that's a good thing.

It worries me more to think that this might be used in an effort to shut down the web. It worries me more that propagandists may try to use this to censor the truth. Those who demonize Wikileaks are demonizing the concept of open government. Those who are calling for the assassination of Mr. Assange are calling for the assassination of the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Governments in the supposed free nations of the west have been trying for years to control the information getting out on the web. They have been trying to corral the general public back into viewing and trusting their corporate backed news services. They've been trying to establish Chinese style censorship of independent news and opinion sources. Thankfully, they've failed miserably so far, let's hope that this incident does not give them the impetus to succeed.

We need whistleblowers. If for no other reason, we need them to point out the corruption prevalent not only in government, but in the corporate world as well. It is not the whistleblowers who should be demonized and punished, that would be like killing the messenger. The people who are engaging in the criminal activities they expose are the ones who should be demonized and punished. If these people were actually and harshly punished, perhaps that would be a deterrent to other government officials who wish to engage in corruption. As it stands currently, the corrupt officials, especially the high level ones, don't ever seem to be held accountable and come out smelling like roses.

Those opinion makers who are demonizing Wikileaks and calling for the assassination of Mr. Assange are, in my humble opinion, aiding and abetting the criminals Wikileaks attempts to expose. They are, in effect, engaging in activities that help to undermine the principles upon which this nation was founded. They are trampling upon and attempting to break apart the foundations of modern Western society. They are the treasonous ones, not Mr. Assange. They are the ones who wish to see authoritarian measures taken to curtail the freedoms we enjoy. They are the ones who wish to control the information you receive and manipulate the opinions you form. Yet they are also free to express their opinion as they see fit. Perhaps the best way to punish them is to point out how flawed and dangerous their thinking is, and then to ignore them and make them insignificant. That seems to me to be their greatest fear.

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