Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A stocking stuffed with Wikileaks

So it's 9 days 'till Christmas and I know I should be wrapping gifts or making sugar plums or getting a tacky sweater out of mothballs, but somehow it seems more festive in my slanted mind to polish off a bottle of cab and try to wrap my weary old head around the whole Julian Assange-Wikileaks thing. So here goes.
  1. I think whistleblowers are brave, necessary people.
  2. I don't think Assange is a whistleblower.
  3. He's rather unlikable for an Aussie. He should wrestle a crocodile or something fun like that.
  4. All the "sex crimes" he's accused of are trumped up, of course.
  5. He looks a little like a young, less interesting version of Andy Warhol.
  6. He thinks he's done something really profound but all the stuff in the secret documents is just "yawn."
Let's dig into the explosive secrets exposed in the diplomatic "cables" (and people are still sending cables? Is this in the parallel universe where people still use fax machines, too?) :
  • Nations spy on each other through the UN. Okay, so? Of course, it's against the rules, and of course, everyone does it. The operative word might be "realpolitik"? Next question.
  • The mean old US and A has contingency plans to invade various countries. Really? This is a revelation? Since we spend 613 septillion dollars on the Pentagon every year, I hope they have plans to invade and conquer every square inch of the planet, from Montenegro to Andorra to Vatican City, for Pete's sake. I want some product for my tax dollar.
  • State Department flunkies file reports on the behavior and habits of world leaders. So the fuck what? Again, this is a revelation? This is news?
  • People are debating and have conflicting views about how we should act in Iraq and Afghanistan, whether to stay or go, and stuff like that. OMG! I never imagined THAT was going on?!
The phrase "tempest in a teapot" comes to mind. It's telling that the story has been "a bunch of documents got leaked" instead of "leaked documents reveal XYZ." The truth is, the leaked documents reveal nothing but the normal course of events in the affairs of state. Compare what's been learned from these leaks to the skullduggery of Watergate, the Gulf of Tonkin bullshit, the Iran-Contra affair - when those dirty doings came to light, it was shocking. The fact that Silvio Berlusconi is a narcissistic dick, or that Mahmoud "Members Only" Ahmadinejad likes pre-pubescent girls in white undies, is not meaningful news, is not a world-changing leak, and is not on par with the drama of the Pentagon Papers, even if Daniel Ellsberg is defending Assange. (Note: While Berlusconi clearly is a narcissistic dick, and while the chances are good that Ahmadinejad does, in fact, like pre-pubescent girls in white undies, I don't know if these facts were revealed by Wikileaks or not. I just like to make things up.)

Truth be told (and is it ever?) I prefer the maximum amount of government transparency at every level. We're all grownups here. And by "all" I mean me and you. But for me, to date, Wikileaks is a pathetic non-story. It's as if your older brother sat you down and said, "Look, I know this is going to be disturbing, but I have proof that mom and dad have been having sex." Pardon me for not being shocked.


burgerdogboy said...

>>>>Andorra to Vatican City, for Pete's sake. I want some product for my tax dollar.

hey, watch whose name you're using, that's a registered trademark, patent pending, too

Bryce said...

While you're willing to assuage Assange, which is a highly liberal stance (anything goes here), I, if allowed to make the decision, would shoot him at sunrise -- or any time of day. All of our government actions should be transparent? How about no one ever having to go hungry again? Let's pull out all the liberal worklines. When you are dealing with a relentless enemy who has your demise sighted in its back scope, sure, let's be transparent in our actions. Did Macy's tell Gimble's.

Thud said...

Shallow I know but judging assange by the company he keeps here in England makes him an industrial grade turd.