Saturday, December 4, 2010
The Air Castle That Was Blown Up
So my last post on WikiLeaks most recent leaks until Assange gets taken before some Swedish tribunal for something hopefully resembling the last scene from The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. But in Googling the title I see that the Swedish title is more accurately translated as: The Air Castle That Was Blown Up, perhaps even more apropos. OK, OK, but the damn thing is playing out so closely to that movie that I just cannot get over it.
I watched Greenwald and Aftergood (what a great name) debate the WikiLeaks thing on Democracy Now (yesterday streaming on the computer thingy). First, Aftergood who has a (kind of) organization that pushes for (apparently) more openness in American government seemed to be really jealous. Here he has worked for years within the system and he is barely noticed. I had heard about his organization, but not a lot. He had apparently going through FOIA requests and the proper court channels gotten some information, but none that appeared to really get a lot of interest outside the belt way types. He was angry about what WikiLeaks had done and how they had done it.
In fact Aftergood (insert own sarcastic comment here) simply lied and said that WikiLeaks had published a blue print for a nuclear bomb, the only one ever publicly published. That was simply, apparently not true. Then he went on to argue that some of the leaks shouldn't have been leaked although others were apparently alright. One of the leaks that he chose to mention that was bad and shouldn't have been leaked, was the one which revealed the German politician who gave the U.S. Ambassador detailed notes about what went on in the formation of the current German government. Since the German was essentially a spy for the U.S. it reveals a terribly America centric point of view and another way Aftergood would be more than willing to censor what the average citizen knows.
Essentially, it is an argument that someone must always stand between the people and their government's secrets. The Wise Men (mostly men) know what the hoi poli need and should know. We're just arguing about who those Wise Men should be. Clearly Aftergood believes that he is one of those Wise Men.
A second point, though. I've been wondering whatever is causing the completely unrestrained rage which has been expressed by the ruling class of at least this country, if not the world. The ruling class as I mentioned before being the media types (perhaps; they at least are given to think they are part of that class and encouraged to believe it), elected types, appointed types, wealthy types, and it now appears the educational types (those who hope to move on to jobs in the government or think tanks). They are the Wise Men (even if some of them are women). Assange is not (nor are you, by the way).
This unrestrained rage does seem to be kind of strange coming as it does at the release of diplomatic cables rather than at the release of the military stuff of a few months ago. I do not mean to imply that there was no anger at WikiLeaks and real rage from those in power, but it didn't seem to take hold as it seems to be this time. It is certainly being pushed more aggressively by the media than it was before, and I think that might be because the media are starting to realize that WikiLeaks is making them look like the ineffectual bumbling handmaidens of the rulers that they are and that they always knew they were, but were able to deny it to themselves up to this point maybe.
Another reason for this completely uncontrolled rage is the sheer number of cables that make the writers look like middle school children back biting each other: "She's so fat," etc. It is one thing to be shown to have killed people for no good reason, but that you have the power to do it, it is quite another to be shown to be merely petty.