Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who gets bail, who gets jail?

Wikileaks talks, murderers walk. Bradley Manning is in prison while the shooters who ripped up a dozen civilians, including a father and children who simply stopped to help a wounded man, are free. Videographic proof of murder is ignored and leaking that proof is regarded as the crime. Orwellian is a mild term for this.

Dick Cheney is still giving public speeches and traveling, while the man who revealed many of the lies around the illegal invasion and illegal conduct of war in Iraq is in Wandsworth prison in the UK. Julian Assange was granted bail by a judge responding to the overwhelming evidence and support, but he was then 'detained' further because bail is exorbitant and, it is strongly rumored, Eric Holder's US Department of Justice wants him extradited, even butting in line ahead of Sweden, who wants to interrogate him about sexual 'coercion' (even though both women note they had no fear of violence by Assange).

The UK failed to extradite Augusto Pinochet, a man who had directly ordered the state terror agents to kill thousands and torture at least 30,000 in Chile, but they may extradite Assange. This is a partial-birth abortion of justice unfolding right before our eyes. Assange neither killed nor threatened to kill anyone, whereas US conservatives are packing up and howling for his blood, literally (even as their money launderers are being charged with $400,000 embezzling for personal enrichment).

Reading major media nowadays is reading a media enriched and informed by Wikileaks, and Assange is not even credited, much less thanked, much less paid, for many of the revelations that form the basis for an untold number of new stories. As you read stories that look like the product of investigative journalism, look for credit. If none is given it is probably a result of Wikileaks. Otherwise, media are rightfully quick to frame their sources as a product of their own efforts. If they gave Wikileaks credit every time they ought to, we would see both sides of this phenomenon concomitantly. We learn much more about the Kazai government, about the Taliban, about warlords on all sides, and about where the US taxpayer monies are going, down war profiteer ratholes in a massive streams, while the primary person responsible for the investigative journalism that uncovered the stories is being prosecuted, ultimately by the very agents of those profiteers.

Assange and good journalism need our support. What many fail to note as they take various positions in this complex environment is well put by Israeli historian

Zeev Sternhell in a recent piece in Le Monde, translated by Mark Jensen, and that basic point is that you have sides, but not sides based on partisanship, not based on religion, not based on national origin, but rather based on enlightenment or fear of enlightenment. I would also assert that this is war system and peace system division, with Islamists, neocons, militarists of all stripes and all the war profiteers on one side, those who try to work for nonviolent human relations on the other, and the true latent power of civil society up for grabs. It is time to stop allowing the

Eric Holder/Alberto Gonzales
functionaries to grab our best. They serve their war system masters well but they do not serve enlightenment, peace, nonviolence nor the interests of civil society anywhere. They will wield that power until civil society stops them.

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