Monday, August 16, 2010

Week of 08/16/2010

WikiLeaks versus “No Snitching”
– by David Matthews 2

There comes a point in a story about evil where someone’s conscience gets the better of them and they have to tell SOMEONE of the great evil going on. The great conspiracy, the great catastrophe, the great master scheme or plan being carried out…

In the movie “JFK”, based on the accounts of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner), the “grand conspiracy” is introduced by the ramblings of David Ferrie (played by Joe Pesci). His long-winded and panic-laden description set the stage for the information that Garrison and his team would assemble and Garrison himself would narrate in the failed trial of Clay Shaw, one of the supposed members of this conspiracy.

Real-life stories are also filled with people who come forward with their knowledge of a grand conspiracy that was just too burdensome to keep silent about. FBI agent W. Mark Felt came forward to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about the White House involvement in the Watergate Scandal, which eventually forced President Richard Nixon to resign to avoid impeachment. Linda Tripp exposed the scandal surrounding President Bill Clinton and an intern, which led to his impeachment for lying under oath. Frank Serpico exposed corruption among his fellow New York police officers. Peter Rost discovered accounting irregularities surrounding the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

We call these people heroes.

Or… at least we TELL ourselves that they should be called heroes.

But quite often we don’t think of them as heroes. We brand them as troublemakers, miscreants, saboteurs, and even traitors. We damn them for doing the right thing, for speaking out and showing the bad things that need to be fixed. We don’t say “thank you” for exposing the evils, we condemn them for DARING to upset that precious status quo that we are so fixated on.

That is one of our larger double-standards in society. We WANT people to stand up and speak out and expose the truth, but then we get upset when they do. Don’t speak up, don’t tattle, don’t make waves, and don’t say anything. Just sit down, shut up, and let life go on.

That brings us to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks is a website that started in 2006 to serve as the central warehouse for documents and submissions of various activities involving nations, groups, and businesses. A place where people could expose the evils of the world without the fear of reciprocity.

From the get-go, they knew that they would be causing trouble. They pissed off several nations, big corporations, exposed dissent among the scientific community about climate change, and even posted email reportedly from Sarah Palin’s hacked account.

But now they’re focusing on the War in Afghanistan. And now the chickenhawks in the conservative and neo-conservative community are screaming bloody murder.

WikiLeaks has exposed the darker side of this ongoing war, the civilian casualties, the cases of friendly fire, proof of paid propaganda, and the mention of weaponry that terrorists and the Taliban reportedly “did not possess”. The latter certainly would have been helpful for the servicemen fighting and dying over there trying to stop the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies.

And yet the chickenhawks want WikiLeaks punished. They want the founders locked up for treason and the website shut down for DARING to expose the grittier side of war instead of showing the sanitized “clean” version that they think war should be.

They claim that they don’t want to risk the lives of servicemen, but isn’t underreporting the capabilities of the enemy doing just that? Isn’t holding that information back from the people that need to know such things putting the soldiers that they claim to protect at risk?

As for the incidents of friendly fire and civilian casualties, while some incidents are to be expected, they’re insistence that EVERY incident needs to be covered up doesn’t help the cause. Indeed, they are actually feeding the propaganda of the enemy by keeping such information secret. The enemy certainly knows what’s been going on and they’re willing to use that information as part of their recruitment even if our own government doesn’t want to own up to it.

Let’s get brutally honest here… WikiLeaks is doing EXACTLY what we CLAIM to want in society! We supposedly WANT people to expose evil and wrongdoing. They’re doing just that!

And it’s damned hypocritical for the conservative and neo-conservative chickenhawks to scream bloody murder over WikiLeaks exposing the ugly side of war when they had no problems whatsoever crowing about the “climate change” emails!

But perhaps the biggest bunch of hypocrites in the world right now are those in the media who are quick to question WikiLeaks for exposing the evils of the world. They question whether or not WikiLeaks is truly the “new wave” of journalism.

Well there is a distinct difference in what WikiLeaks is doing and what the mainstream air-fluffed ego-driven media has been doing. The difference is this: WikiLeaks is not exposing evils for the sake of ratings. They’re not chasing people down with cameras simply to show them on the 6pm news. They’re simply putting the information out there, without editorials, without the condescending comments from anchors before moving on to weather and sports.

And maybe that’s why the media is concerned about WikiLeaks… after all, they’re ruining a seemingly good business operation.

Someone in a very old book said that you cannot serve two masters… and the whole issue with WikiLeaks is essentially about having to choose between two such masters. It is about choosing between living up to our own promises of wanting evil exposed, or in keeping the status quo going. It’s either “doing what’s right” or “don’t snitch”. Take your pick, but you can’t have them both, no matter how badly you want them.

1 comment:

Chuck Doswell said...

This is, sadly, old news. Whistle-blowers have been getting vilified, punished, and marginalized for as long as I can remember. We pay lip service to our devotion to truth, but stand idly by when those with the courage to reveal the truth go down. Ever read the "code of conduct" for those in military service? They're supposed to follow lawful orders ... and disobey unlawful orders. Right ... disobey an order on such a basis and you'll be court-martialed (and likely convicted).