The demonization of Julian Assange continues, apparently unabated. How sad for us.
“From the start of the WikiLeaks controversy, the most striking aspect for me has been that the ones who are leading the crusade against the transparency brought about by WikiLeaks – the ones most enraged about the leaks and the subversion of government secrecy – have been . . . America’s intrepid Watchdog journalists. What illustrates how warped our political and media culture is as potently as that? It just never seems to dawn on them – even when you explain it – that the transparency and undermining of the secrecy regime against which they are angrily railing is supposed to be . . . what they do.
“What an astounding feat to train a nation’s journalist class to despise above all else those who shine a light on what the most powerful factions do in the dark and who expose their corruption and deceit, and to have journalists – of all people – lead the way in calling for the head of anyone who exposes the secrets of the powerful. Most ruling classes – from all eras and all cultures – could only fantasize about having a journalist class that thinks that way, but most political leaders would have to dismiss that fantasy as too extreme, too implausible, to pursue. After all, how could you ever get journalists – of all people – to loathe those who bring about transparency and disclosure of secrets? But, with a few noble exceptions, that’s exactly the journalist class we have.
“If one thinks about it, there’s something quite surreal about sitting there listening to a CNN anchor and her fellow CNN employee angrily proclaim that Julian Assange is a “terrorist” and a “criminal” when the CNN employee doing that is . . . . George W. Bush’s Homeland Security and Terrorism adviser. Fran Townsend was a high-level national security official for a President who destroyed another nation with an illegal, lie-fueled military attack that killed well over 100,000 innocent people, created a worldwide torture regime, illegally spied on his own citizens without warrants, disappeared people to CIA “black sites,” and erected a due-process-free gulag where scores of knowingly innocent people were put in cages for years. Julian Assange never did any of those things, or anything like them. But it’s Assange who is the “terrorist” and the “criminal.”
“Or consider the theme that framed last night’s segment: Assange is profiting off classified information by writing a book! …Bob Woodward has become a very rich man by writing book after book filled with classified information about America’s wars which his sources were not authorized to give him. Would (CNN anchor Jessica) Yellin ever in a million years dare lash out at Bob Woodward the way she did Assange?”