“I AM JULIAN ASSANGE!”
And so are you, if you believe in democracy.
Because there can be no democracy without an informed citizenry, and if there is one thing all sides of the Julian Assange-Wikileaks issue can agree on, it is that through Wikileaks and Assange we have learned details—vital details—about the world we live in that we would not know if he did not exist.
We live in parlous times. Attempting to coerce and intimidate a sovereign nation, Ecuador, by threatening to storm its embassy yesterday was an astounding and dangerous move.
Is the threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy really based on Great Britain’s desire to bring the full force of justice to bear on a man who is accused—at most—of having sex without a condom?
"Let me be perfectly clear"
Of course not. It is a fig leaf behind which are hiding the forces of brutal coercion.
Officials in Washington are furious that Assange published thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables online. Some Republican politicians have even called for the death penalty if he faces espionage charges in America.
When asked to provide assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the United States, Sweden refused. Assange will be extradited by Sweden to the U.S., where he will receive the same fate awaiting Private Bradley Manning.
There is one—and only one—reason British police ring the Ecuadorian Embassy in London; and one and only one reason the British Foreign Office threatens an act of war if Ecuador does not cave in to its demands.
The diplomatic threats and encircling police around the Ecuadorian Embassy are there to place Julian Assange in a place where the U.S. Government—without a peep of protest, it must be said, from President Obama—can get their hands on him.
As one of the most anti-democratic US Presidents who ever lived was famous for saying: ‘Let me be perfectly clear”: This is not about trumped up charges, that even if true, will be punished by Swedish justice with a fine of no more than $700.
Information is power. Thomas Friedman is bullshit.
The answer is simple, straightforward, and timeless. Information is power. There is information which governments in power do not want 'we the people' to know, not for our benefit, but for theirs.
Politicians have gotten used to no longer being challenged by an inquisitive and fully-functioning free press, and are offended when anyone attempts to assume that role.
Imagine New York Times-man Thomas Friedman being forced to seek asylum in some foreign embassy for publishing state secrets.
The idea is too ridiculous to even contemplate; it is no longer the sort of thing the press—let alone Thomas Friedman—does. Yet that’s what he’s supposed to be doing, on our behalf, each and every day.
"There's the Masters of the Universe. And there's the rest of us."
In my opinion, the world today is ruled by a corrupt and ruthless oligarchic elite, the parasitic rich, so powerful they no longer feel the need to pretend that the motto “Equal justice under law” chiseled above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court still applies to them.
Just this morning came news that 26 big U.S. corporations—including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup—paid their CEO’s more last year than they paid the federal government in taxes. So who among us anymore is naïve enough to believe that what we don’t know won’t hurt us?
Today three Russian girls with a band that is perhaps unfortunately named—Pussy Riot—were sentenced to two years in the New Russian Gulag for “hooliganism.”
Is there anyone outside the walls of the Kremlin who believes these brave young women are going to prison for anything but having the temerity to criticize Russian strongman Vladimir Putin in public?
Lapdogs limping to the rescue
“People who do otherwise commendable work are capable of rape,” writes one fatuous shill in London Independent. “If presented with rape allegations, they must face them like anybody else, however otherwise worthy their past contributions.”
When the fog of sensationalistic headlines over Assange’s presumed Swedish transgressions had faded, it became clear that—headlines to the contrary—no one has accused Assange of the heinous crime of sex by violence, which is what rape is.
Yet his character has been besmirched with that taint in the most despicable way worldwide by a lap-dog media whose manifest failings are the very reason anyone has ever heard the name “Julian Assange” to begin with.
We can be heroes. Just for one day.
A Roman general stands before the captured army and demands they turn over Spartacus, or else all will be executed. Not wanting his comrades to be executed, Spartacus stands up, and says "I am Spartacus."
However, the loyalty of his friends is so great that each of them then stands in succession, and shouts "I am Spartacus!" until there are thousands of captives raising their voices, each insisting "I am Spartacus!"
Of course, there was only one Spartacus. And there is only one Julian Assange.
But the heroic figure he represents is one to which we can all aspire.