So, Julian Assange “is not a journalist, any more than the ‘editor’ of al-Qa’ida’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a journalist” according to Sarah Palin. Apparently according to her own unique brand of hyperbole, he is “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands”.
It’s transparent rhetoric purpose designed to inflame the sensibilities of her cohort members of the tea-Party movement. There is no blood on anyone’s hands as no-one has been hurt, wounded or killed as a result of the Wiki-leaks revelations. Further, I note she makes no such outlandish claims against the real perpetrator of the information leaks, former US military member, Bradley Manning, now vegetating in a military prison.
Whether or not Palin is using this issue as leverage in a supposed bid for Presidency in 2012, or simply raising her profile and that of the rabid conservatism of the tea-party is essentially moot. My belief is that Americans – the genuinely rational American citizen who appreciates everyday reality for what it is and not what pseudo-violent expression of right-wing empyrean rapture might look like – see through the Palin-esque rhetoric. It’s all just so much facebook fodder & 3 minute television soundbite. The simple fact is that someone with enough nous managed to subvert a system which he had access to, and for reasons of his own gave the information he obtained to an organisation which believes the general populace of a globalised world is entitled to know what it’s governments are doing in the name of ‘national interest’.
My stance is, as it has always been on issues such as this, that the people have a right to know what their governments do in their names. Most of what goes on at the dizzying heights of diplomatic engagement have no impact on we of the great unwashed. Does that negate our right to know, not to mention our need to know? I think not. If the Bradley Manning’s of the world, whatever their personal dysfunctionalities might be, choose to subvert the systems of secrecy which deny full and frank disclosure, passing on their gains to organisations like Wiki-leaks with the avenues to make that information public, then so be it. Yes, these actions shake the foundations of ivory towers, but shouldn’t those foundations be give a bloody good shaking every now & then? Shouldn’t the inhabitants of the upper levels be made to realise just how fragile their pristine surroundings are? What makes a politician so much more inviolate than we who elect them? Absolutely nothing in my view. So that get embarrassed by revelations they didn’t want out in the public space. Too bad, say I!