I told Sunny Calabash that I thought the spin of this blog should be the convening of a grand jury in Virginia against Julian Assange and the effort of the United States to punish him horribly – via Sweden – for publishing a lot of secret information about United States foreign policy.
“The irony is so great,” I said. “The entire Middle East is in a convulsion of revolutions. The poor and the oppressed and the murdered are rising up in their no-longer-endurable rage. Murdering dictators supported by the United States for 40 years are frantically clinging to their unearned power. And the United States is trying to get its mitts on Julian Assange, one of the few people of integrity among the hyenas of oligarchy, plutocracy, bureaucracy and inequity and lies and bribes and threats and goodness knows what- all- else.”
“Well. . . ” said Sunny.
“Don’t you think that’s a good way to spin it?’
Sunny Calabash said the WikiLeaks exposure of US diplomatic cables has definitely made it harder for governments to lie in the age of the internet. She definitely has a point, and I’m sorry now that I told my children that they are not under any circumstances to lie and that lying is not something they should chortle about to a high United States official. Like that hard-working dictator of Yemen did to the United States’ General Petraeus in describing how he blew up a suspected Al Qaeda operative.
One guy says the WikiLeaks material is as rich a source of commentary on contemporary US foreign policy as we’re ever likely to have in one cache. Then another guy contradicts him and says the stuff has valuable insights – “if you’ve been living under a rock for the past century.” It seems to me it’s either a big deal or it’s not a big deal.
In the meantime, the world-wide media is quoting from WikiLeaks documents all over the place. The United States doesn’t like that. It likes to get others’ secrets and it pays big bucks for them. But if someone reveals the secrets of the United States, it gets very very angry and attempts to torment anyone who crosses it if it decides it has been crossed.
The big Q (cool for “question”) is: If it’s OK for the United States to go after Julian Assange, and if it’s also OK to use the stuff he’s made available, then what is not OK? Is what’s not OK a big secret? And who decides what’s the big secret?
Oh secrets, secrets, secrets, what are we going to do with you?