By Con George-Kotzabasis
A reply to: Don’t Shoot The Messenger For Revealing Uncomfortable Truths
By Julian Assange, The Australian December 08, 2010
Julian Assange opens his article with adulatory terms for the founder of The Australian and his sire, Keith Murdoch, by quoting “young Rupert Murdoch…’in the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win’.” And he seems to be proud to follow the steps of Murdoch even though the latter long ago has grown horns for many liberal media aficionados. He also proudly states that Wikileaks has “coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism,” (M.E.) which he defines as allowing you “to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on”, and thus by this method you can make a judgment about the veracity or falsity of the story. He further claims that he is not one of the crowd of anti-war as he believes that “Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and taxes on the line for these lies.” He is also justifiably concerned that he is being accused by US officials and others of treason “even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen,” and of a Republican bill before the Senate “seeking to have me declared a ‘transnational threat’.”
Under this ominous cloud of threats issuing from high echelons of the US government and politicians it is reasonable that Assange would be deeply worried about his safety and his inviolable right to exercise his freedom of speech. But it is totally unreasonable to have expected to be treated otherwise when he exposed secrets of governments in conditions of war. He seems to have had the courage to put in action his convictions without however having the courage to face the consequences of his action that could be seen even by blind Freddie, to use an Australian colloquialism.
Moreover, his riposte is inane and unimaginative to the State Department’s claim: “You will risk lives! National Security! You’ll endanger troops!” “Then they say there is nothing of importance in what Wikileaks publishes. It can’t be both. Which is it?” But it can be both. Imperil in verity national security and risk lives while at the same time diminishing the importance of the leaks for political reasons so politicians and government officials will not be accountable for their incompetence and their propensity to leak.
Furthermore he conceitedly claims that the seeds of the leaks brought a rich harvest of accomplished goals that lay in the original plan of Wikileaks. He states that in its “four-year publishing history…we have changed governments (M.E.) but not a single person…has been harmed.” But if this is one of the goals achieved it is vague in regard to the kind and quality of the “changed governments.” Does he refer to changes in the internal operations of governments that are more transparent to their publics or does he refer to changes in the political colouring of governments? One can assume from the implication of his proud claim he means a change in the substance of governments for the better by their change of colour. But whichever of the two changes he refers to the empirical evidence clearly shows that on both counts his statement is false. Governments have neither become more open to their publics nor have they become better shepherds to their flock in the last four years. Was the transition from the Bush to the Obama administration a substantial change to a better government? When President Obama has rescinded most of his electoral campaign promises and continues a war in Afghanistan, which according to Assange is based on lies, intensifying the drone attacks in Pakistan against al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives that started under the Bush administration, and commenced new clandestine operations against global jihadist terrorists in Somalia, and Yemen, and when in the short time of two years a majority of Americans have turned against their initially beloved Obama, who was going to change America for the better, as the mid-term elections last November have shown?
But while Wikileaks’s failure in these two areas of transparency and betterment of governments is resounding, and therefore his statement is a manifest lie, Assange partially achieved his anarchistic goal of his doctrine of the “corruption of governments’’ by creating mistrust between the top officials of governments and hence enervating the system of inter-communications and sharing of intelligence between them. As he argued in a paper of his few years ago the only way to put a stop to the corruption of governments was to disrupt their communications and to create distrust among its officials that the content and information of their intelligence and advice passed to their political masters would not be secure from public scrutiny. Thus Wikileaks threw a spanner into the mechanism of governments whose secrecy in some matters of paramount importance are the sine qua non of good governance and global security, especially in our contemporary times when Western civilization is under a menacing permanent attack by fanatical Islam. And one must be reminded that one of the major reasons why the perpetrators of 9/11 were not identified and apprehended in time was this lack of sharing intelligence between Federal agencies, which subsequently the Bush administration corrected by setting up The Department of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge.
Thus Assange by achieving his anarchistic nefarious goal has placed countries and their peoples that are under attack by Islamist suicide bombers at great risk whose numbers of casualties would astronomically surpass the numbers that Americans killed “in the past few months, “with Australian government connivance,” if such an attack was carried out by means of biological or nuclear weapons. (Talking about Wikileaks not harming a single person.)
As to his coinage of “scientific journalism” it is empty of substance. Science is not hostage to subjective values and does not pick its evidence by means of ideological fantasies. For example, the content of Assange’s argument about the war in Iraq is not based on reality but on fantasy. To accuse Bush of lying about Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and espouse the Leftist slogan “Bush Lied, People Died,” when all the leaders of the major countries, including President Chirac, Chancellor Schroeder, Premier Zhu Rongji of China, and presidents Putin, and Mubarak of Egypt, also believed that the Iraq dictator had WMD, is intellectually dishonourable and the most dishonest accusation against the former president. Were Chirac, Schroeder, Putin, Zhu Rongji, also lying when they were saying that Saddam had in his possession WMD? Indeed, were they involved in a conspiracy with Bush against Saddam Hussein when all four were explicitly against the war? And as Bush says in his book Decision Points, “The charge was illogical. If I wanted to mislead the country into war, why would I pick an allegation that was certain to be disproven publicly shortly after we invaded the country?” That Assange is peddling this utterly false accusation in defiance of the above facts clearly reveals his ideological bias that completely incapacitates him to make an objective assessment of the issue according to his lauded standards of “scientific journalism.” Intellectually disarmed by the lures of ideology he throws his anarchistic bomb on all the principles of science. If he had used his own scientific methodology as to the evidence extant prior to the decision of President Bush to invade Iraq he would have found that the war was not based on lies but on false intelligence. As a thought experiment, had he published in early 2000 the documents of all the major intelligence agencies of the world as to whether or not Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction they would have shown that all believed that he had them. Thus if the public had “read a news story” about Saddam’s WMD and then clicked “to see the original document” it was based on, they would be able to judge as to the truthfulness of the story.
Legally of course, Assange cannot be charged with treason, as such a charge applies to citizens of nations. But Assange by using the global instrument of the internet has by his own choice become a global citizen. The secret documents that he has splashed on the internet do not merely affect or threaten a particular nation but a number of nations that are pivotal to the security of the globe at a time when this security is imperilled by resolute irreconcilable enemies. Assange therefore by revealing this secrecy to the foes of Western civilization nolens volens is conniving with these implacable enemies of the West and hence committing ‘global treason’. The fact, moreover, that he is a messenger of a most dangerous lie, i.e., that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or potentially with Iran, are not quintessentially related to the continuous existential threat that global terror and rogue states pose to Western civilization, rightfully qualifies him to be ‘shot’ for telling lies about the truth.
I rest on my oars: your turn now