Which makes all the hub-bub and consternation surrounding the revealed documents a bit odd. You’d think that regressives would actually sort of laud the release of these files in a way, since they substantiate the whole war on terror riff, at least in so far as showing that the US government more or less genuinely believes its own rhetoric. It’s actually a vindication of sorts for them, against those of us who harbor deep suspicions – post-Vietnam, post-Watergate, post-Iraq – about the ability of the American national security state to speak remotely honestly about anything. You don’t generally have here a case of the government saying one thing and then doing something else completely different.
And they know that the people in a democracy just might not put up with their crimes and their lies, and thus secrecy must be jealously guarded, even if that requires the murder of a truth-teller. That, ultimately is the most substantial revelation that the WikiLeaks documents have so far produced.As Julian Assange has himself noted, “The more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. ... Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.” Well said, brother. Well said.Assange was asked by Time Magazine what his “moral calculus” was to justify publishing the leaks. Don’t you love that? No one asked George Bush or Dick Cheney that question. No one would dare ask the Liars of the Century about their moral calculus, even today, as they run around the world hawking their books and making millions off of ‘memoirs’ absolutely riddled with new lies covering up the old ones. No one even asks the timid-as-a-snowflake Barack Obama where he gets off tripling the forces in Afghanistan in support of a regime that – thanks to WikiLeaks – we now know that he knows is thoroughly corrupt and utterly undemocratic. But Assange, whose great crime is exposing truth, gets the dubious morality treatment from Time, that great bastion of hard-hitting independent journalism.So, here’s his moral calculus: “We are an organization that tries to make the world more civil and act against abusive organizations that are pushing it in the opposite direction.”