Jayzus H. Christ, I go away from the Internet for a while and all hell breaks loose.
Having shimmied back down the rabbit hole in the last couple of days, my eyes are now bleeding from reading all the sturm und drang over supposed terrorist/sex criminal Julian Assange and his pariah website, WikiLeaks.
OK, they’re not bleeding but my eyes are tearing up and I wish my head didn’t hurt the way it does from trying to piece together the cognitive disconnect over so many people not caring that the US has been waging multiple illegal wars and torturing innocent people for going on a decade, and now are suddenly turning into a rabid mob over the revelation that many things thinking people have long suspected of modern government S.O.P. turn out to be true.
Some 250,000 classified State Department cables have been made public courtesy of WikiLeaks, and while Defense Secretary Robert Gates described most of the reaction to such audacity as "significantly overwrought," it hasn’t stopped people like Sarah Palin from stating that Assange should be hunted down (and, presumably, killed) like a terrorist, hasn’t stopped chickenhawk warmongers on the Right — or even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — from bleating that the entire International diplomatic comedy of manners has been ruined forever, and hasn’t stopped the New York Times from using the opportunity to ramp up its coverage of the FUD beat.
There’s been a great deal of handwringing also, confined mostly to the progressive Left, over whether Assange and his mission are good or evil, but there’s one thing this latest data dump has made abundantly clear and it’s that all the talk about how political differences in Washington, DC make it impossible for Republicans in congress to cooperate with a Democratic president — specifically with Mr. Obama in the present case — is utter bullshit.
Mr. Obama and several high-powered Republicans had no problem coming together in the spring of 2009 to pressure Spanish authorities and members of its independent judiciary to abandon an investigation into torture authorized and ordered by former Bush administration officials including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel.
So let’s be clear: whatever happens in Washington with taxes, healthcare reform, food safety, net neutrality or any other issue you might care to name, happens because the people in power want it to happen.
The record shows, too, that for going on well over 30 years now what the people in power in the US want — it doesn’t matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans — is less and less protection for consumers and ordinary citizens on every front from the financial to the environment to employment, and more and more power and profit for corporations and the wealthiest members of the society.
The record shows they will stoop to every heinous endeavor conceived in the history of humankind — unprovoked wars of aggression, torture and indefinite incarceration of innocent people, indiscriminate slaughter of harmless peasants, bald-faced lies, theft and dissipation of public property and goodwill, rape, murder, collusion and conspiracy — to keep their power and get their way and protect the criminals who have gone before them.
That much is clear and indisputable. What remains a little fuzzy is what the American people may ever try to do about it.