Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Six years ago today...

... the Chimperer had just been elected to his second term of office, after John Kerry ran the worst Presidential campaign since Michael Dukakis. And I started up this blog with a bang, writing a well-footnoted post about a journalist destroyed by the CIA in 1996 for exposing government wrong-doing.

And today, six years later, here I am again, writing about a publisher -- Julian Assange of Wikileaks -- that once again made the mistake of telling the truth, and once again the government is trying to destroy him -- this time with rape charges that don't hold water -- and once again pointing out that we have free speech only when we speak in government-approved ways here in America. I can write this blog because my speech is approved speech -- it is speech that allows me to vent, but which does not allow me to change anything about how America is run or inconvenience those in power in any way. Julian Assagne's crime is that of inconveniencing those in power by showing the world diplomatic cables proving that they are moral-less, venal, and vicious.

Of course, there is one big difference between 1996 and 2010: the Internet has grown up. Today when newspapers of record attempt to destroy someone, the cyber-libertarian left, cool geek toys/geek culture bloggers, and people like Michael Moore can react in real-time rather than having to wait weeks or months for conventional publication. If this was still 1996, Assange would have been deported to Sweden by now, then would have been deported on an unmarked aircraft to a black prison run by the CIA somewhere in Eastern Europe, and that would be the end of it all. Instead, he's out on bail, and stands a good chance of at worst serving a few weeks in jail if he does end up deported to Sweden, rather than disappeared, because there's too many people watching.

Will that be enough? We'll see. I'll just point out that the oligarchy has a pretty good record when it comes to destroying journalists that they don't want publishing the truth. And lest you say "Watergate!" and "Pentagon papers!", those were factions within the oligarchy, i.e., a significant percentage of the oligarchy wanted those published. But Assange's reveal of the sheer droll venality of our ruling class is something that none of them want published -- thus why they're trying their best to play whack-a-mole with Wikileaks (which, BTW, is back up at its original site after Michael Moore paid for new DNS hosting, though it immediately redirects to a Russian Wikileaks mirror at the moment).

And as it was six years ago, so it is today. The only thing to remember about history is that it repeats itself... but only as long as we let it. I just find it... interesting... that I posted about a journalist driven to suicide six years ago, and now the U.S. is trying to do the exact same thing to another journalist. Freedom! U S A! U S A! Fuck yeah!

-- Badtux the Free Speech Penguin


  1. Congrats on your sixth blogiversary.

  2. Well said, Tux, and HBD to your blog.

    In a fit of nostalgia, I looked back to when I started blogging - Sept 29, 2008.

    First entry was an Anti Sarah Palin Rant, the 2nd was "The Myth of Republican Fiscal Rsponsibility."

    Keep fighting the good, futile fight.


  3. Thank you for this and yes, Congratulations...long may you wave your Penguin flag!

  4. So long and thanks for all the snark!

    (By "so long" I don't mean that anyone is going anywhere, just that you've been blogging so long...)

  5. Bukko -

    That comment actually IS worth a load of dingo's kidneys!



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