Enemy of distaste.

And I want to watch WWE Raw.

Suddenly I’m hungry.

Sometimes it’s all too easy as an American to simply stick your head in the sand and go about your daily routine, blissfully unaware of the wider world around you. Can’t tune in to CNN when you’ve got to get the kids to soccer practice and then race home to give the hubby a quick hummer so he doesn’t leave you for the maid; no time to read the New York Times, not when the season finale of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is on tonight.  Still, there are times when you can no longer ignore the wider outside world, especially when someone or something finally pops that insulating bubble of solipsism you’ve inculcated within yourself in order to protect you from the ravages of actually giving a damn about other people.

Unless it's inconvenient.  Then you end up in jail.

Et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos.

When you’re finally confronted with such a rude awakening, as unavoidable as the images of destruction force-fed to Alex in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange,  you’ve got yourself a choice: ostrich as soon as you possibly can, drowning the brutal truth in as many mojitos and reruns of Sex and the City as you can, or stand up and finally say “enough is enough.”  This happened to me yesterday, thanks to a news story I stumbled upon that revealed the fact that the United States military has more or less declared both WikiLeaks and its de facto editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, “enemies of the state,” an appellation Assange and WikiLeaks now shares with other luminaries such as Al Quaida and the Taliban.

This, of course, stems from the massive number of classified US military documents that were allegedly leaked to the independent, international whistleblower clearinghouse by Bradley Manning, a now-discredited and very troubled US Army intelligence analyst, which has resulted in Manning’s detainment for, as of last Wednesday, 856 days – despite the fact that the legal limit for the detainment without trial when it comes to US military personnel is 120 days.  Manning stands accused, in part, of “aiding the enemy” in allegedly leaking the information to WikiLeaks, which outright classifies the organization – and Assange – as enemies of the United States government.  Not only that:

military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with ‘communicating with the enemy’, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death,

according to a US Air Force counter-intelligence document that was released under US Freedom of Information Laws, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Not only is this patently absurd, but it is offensive in the extreme. There’s no reason whatsoever for Bradley Manning – or any other US servicemember – to possibly face the death penalty for treason for contacting an independent news media outlet as a whistleblower. Yes, they can still be susceptible to criminal prosecution for doing so under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, possibly facing dishonorable discharge and jail time, but execution for treason is unconscionable.  So is attempting to control the historical narrative by threatening those who break their silence, in the interests of justice, with death.

That's a funny way of spelling "Journalist."

Terrorist!

The US Government’s point of view is that, as Joe Biden said, “Julian Assange is a high-tech terrorist,” placing the lives of American overseas operatives at risk after exposing the leaked information to the international community.  The Vice President went out of his way to differentiate Assange from Neil Sheehan, the New York Times reporter that broke the Pentagon Papers leak, stating that there may be evidence that Assange encouraged Manning to leak the documents.  However, there has been no evidence brought forward to indicate Assange attempted to coax, coerce, or conspire with Manning to gain the massive packet of classified information, which leaves me wondering how his classification – and the classification of WikiLeaks – as enemies of the state can be justified.

Manning seems to be a 21st century analogue  to another former US military analyst that became so disturbed by the government’s prevarication that he  knowingly committed a felony to expose the deception. Daniel Ellsberg was so incensed upon discovering the orchestration of the Vietnam War on the part of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations that he risked prosecution under the Espionage Act of 1917, ultimately admitting his actions and turning himself in, saying:

I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision.

Today, Ellsberg is widely considered a patriot and Sheehan viewed as a paragon of the kind of fact-based journalism that is sadly lacking in our current 24 hour news cycle.  Ellsberg himself has come forward in support of WikiLeaks, proclaiming it as a “way to build a better government” on The Colbert Report, of all places – and that Bradley Manning is a personal hero to him. I can only imagine if the Pentagon Papers had been leaked today instead of over forty years ago.  Would Ellsberg be deep in Leavenworth right now, with Sheehan holed up in some Ecuadorean embassy to avoid extradition on trumped-up sexual assault charges?

Watch out, he's got a pen!

Nothing says “free press” like incarceration.

I don’t know where this leaves Manning, Assange, WikiLeaks, journalism, and freedom of speech as a whole.  I certainly know that it shakes my personal faith in the principles of freedom and justice that are so fervently espoused, especially in an election year, making me wonder what horrors the future may hold for us all if the truth no longer sets us free but only results in getting us detained indefinitely when the revelations made are inconvenient ones.

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8 thoughts on “Enemy of distaste.

  1. It would take more than a mere coment box for me to fully encapsulate all my thoughts on this subject. Indeed it would require an “Alex jones” level tirade for me to express all.the facts and angles to be considered here.

    In the words of modern day founding father Ron Paul: when truth becomes treason were in big trouble.”

    Now listen I don’t want to sound like a broken record here… but the more a sane person delves into this stuff and follows the connections, it becomes inevitable that they begin to see us toinfoil hat wearing people have been saying for so long.

    there is a reason the dhs has collectively purchased over 1.6 BILLION round of ammo that is unsuitable for training and illegal to use in any other capacity other thn against us citizens. That enough ammo to put 6 bullets in every man woman and child in america. That’s more ammo than the us military has purchased in one whole year for use in 2 occupational wars and 2 kinetic action invasions…

    There is a reason why every week there is a new law either being discussed or passed that trims away more of our natural born rights. Provisions in the ndaa for example authorizing indefinate detention of people mere suspected of tewrrorist ties without due process even here on the home soil.

    These and the countless other actions of our govt are not the actions of a nation for the people, by the people, of the people. But instead echo the actions of stalin, hitler, and so many others just before their take overs.

    Instead of watching basal shit like honey booboo and getting up in arms over a bad ref call… people should be watching the real truth out there and getting up in arms over their dwindling chances for surviving the comming modern feudalistic takeover of the world.

    Mark my words, I don’t look forward to being like Eli, or snake pliskan… but that’s exactly the kind of crap were heading toward.

    Good post Dave. Just be careful you don’t do too many posts on REAL issues lest you scare away the “normal” folks. Of course you may gain more subscribers than you know what to do with if you do. 🙂

    People are starving for real commentary and news.

    • Thank you, Dan. I usually try to keep this blog fairly light, but sometimes there’s things going on in the world that even I can’t make light of with a few well-placed dick jokes.

  2. Maybe the problem is one of perception. Assange — as much as I agree with him in principle — comes off as such an enormous douche nozzle that I find it hard to sympathize with him. Everything from his hair to that stupid stupid face of his makes me just scream DOUCHEBAGDOUCHEBAGDOUCHEBAG!

  3. Well now that I want to vomit thinking of smelly douchenozzles… gag

    In all seriousness though, Assange comes off less the freedom loving hero, and more the giant troll, poking the government bears for shits and giggles. That’s why I think (at least partially) there’s so much backlash against him and why he doesn’t garner the same kind of support that other whistleblowers do.

  4. Pingback: Wanted for theft « Unwanted Criticisms

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