So let’s move on then, and talk about OpenLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Bradley Manning, and the future of truth, journalism, and democracy.
Kudos to Time magazine for featuring Julian Assange on their cover with an American flag gagging him. And kudos to their readers for voting Assange person of the year. Not because I think he’s some kind of hero. Hell, I don’t know; under various countries’ laws he’s probably a criminal of some kind or another. In fact, early on, I jokingly suggested that WikiLeaks was a disinformation machine set up by the US government. But if Assange gets thrown under the bus by the British and Swedish legal systems and ends up being “extraordinarily rendered” by US intelligence, the greatest tragedy would not be Assange’s personal demise, it would be if we all forgot about the principle behind what he was doing and returned to pointlessly quibbling about the latest partisan political folly of the week. So I hope conservatives everywhere smolder about Michael Moore’s self-satisfied support of Assange. And I hope liberals have hernias about Sarah Palin suggesting he should be hunted down like Osama Bin Laden. And I hope Vladimir Putin keeps making jabs at our sham democracy with barbs like “So, you know, as they say in the countryside, some people’s cows can moo, but yours should keep quiet“. And I hope women like Sady Doyle keep convicting him without a trial. And I hope pseudonymous misogynist bloggers like “Ferdinand Bardamu” keep dialing up the outrage on the other side by revealing the identities and addresses of the accusers. And I hope the former WikiLeakers who are organizing OpenLeaks keep dissing Assange to get press for their new venture. And I hope bloggers like Gene Lalor keep fretting that Bradley Manning is a homosexual traitor. And I hope that bleeding heart liberal intellectuals in Berkeley erect a statue in his honor. And I hope Daniel Ellsberg keeps pointing out that his experience with the Pentagon Papers was identical to the WikiLeaks debacle. Because in the end, there’s some nebulous hope that by keeping the dialog about the broader issue alive, more people will realize that the real issue is truth, and possessing the integrity to speak it. It may have taken some personally flawed personalities to do it, but the big filthy satchel of lies has been dumped on the ground. Let’s look at the contents before we decide whom to lynch.
Besides, it all makes for some good SNL skits: