"So, the freedom of communication, in some sense, is the fundamental right, because it is the enabling right that allows us to speak to each other to understand the importance of all our other rights. And so, when the freedom of communication is degraded or maligned, when whistleblowers are prosecuted, when one organization starts to develop a monopoly on the internet and interfere with our communication, then all our rights suffer, because this fundamental enabling right is degraded." Julian Assange"You don't publish a million secrets a year without making a few enemies" #WikiLeaks https://t.co/MsNZhrBYvb pic.twitter.com/H7ujQAFErm— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 7, 2016
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
I am frustrated at the moment. I read the Tweet from Michael Grumwald who says he "can't wait" to praise the drone strike that murders Julian Assange. In the video above we hear all the pimps, the supporters of a rotten decaying social system, condemn Assange and call for his murder or assassination. Academics, economists politicians, news reporters and those like Grumwald who claims to be a journalist are on the front lines of the mass media war against Assange. Information has a purpose, it has class character. Grumwald is an enemy of workers, the middle class and the poor. The mass media is owned by a few thousand people, the unelected clique that determines how we live our lives and how society is governed; who lives and who dies.
I have met a few people in the last few days since returning from the Green Party Convention who have not heard of Assange and others who have have bought in to the propaganda that he has harmed American interests, and the American people. Well he has. The question is which "American" interests and people has he harmed.
Wikileaks also released millions of diplomatic cables between US diplomats who are supposedly representing us, and their foreign counterparts as well as between the diplomats of of other countries. It was Wikileaks that released the Collateral Damage video allegedly leaked to the news agency by Chelsea Manning who was arrested, tortured and sent to prison for 35 years.
I urge readers to read The Wikileaks Files as the information included is all from the horses' mouth. It is information the citizenry should know in a democracy. We know how rotten our own government is. When there's a strike, the media is anti-American worker and pro-American capitalist------it has a class base. There are no "United We Stand" billboards directed at workers unity when a union or group of workers are on strike, are fighting for their lives against a corporation here at home, even a foreign owned one.
What Julian Assange and Wikileaks has done is open the files of the US ruling class, the unelected clique that manages society in their interest not ours and shared them with the American working class, with you and me. This is a good thing. The 1% as they are called are frantic. Their phony diplomacy, has been revealed, their lying, double crossing thieving methods are there for us all to see. We always believed it but Assange has made it social fact; is this the face of America we want foreigners to see? This is why they hate him and want his head, This is why they want Wikileaks destroyed.
Wikileaks and Assange, as well as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have done us all a favor, we owe them a debt of gratitude. But we must do more than that, we must send money. We must defend Wikielaks and counter the lies of the representatives of the 1% when we talk to co-workers and neighbors about this. I have said in earlier commentaries that the left has missed the boat on this issue. The Green Party had Assange speak to its convention and it must be commended, it is a courageous thing to do. Jill Stein, the GPUSA candidate for president has said she would appoint Edward Snowden to a cabinet post. But the left and all anti-capitalists must collectively take this issue up and there should be weekly demos at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange has been holed up for 5 years to avoid the US governments death squads.
The trade union leaders we know are a disgrace, they refuse to even defend their own members against the very same forces that are seeking Assange's death and the shutting down of Wikileaks. They refuse to call for Snowden to be hailed a hero along with Manning. There is no evidence that what has been released has hurt the American people, the young men and women in the military or the millions of us that are suffering due to the austerity agenda of the 1% or the poor, the millions incarcerated and those that lost their homes to the bankers. Assange has opened the doors to the 1%'s vaults and let us in
If you are in a trade union you should discuss this issue on the job and at the union hall. You should pass resolutions supporting Assange, Snowden, Manning and Wikileaks, all whistleblowers.
Lastly, a DNC staffer was shot dead last month in a possible robbery attempt although it's not been confirmed if it was a robbery. “If it was a robbery, it failed, because he still had his watch, he still had his money, he still had his credit cards, still had his phone, so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life.” said his father. This follows the "mysterious" death of process server Shawn Lucas who filed a lawsuit against the DNC and its chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on behalf of Bernie Sanders. "It leveled the following serious charges: fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence." See what Assange said and read more here
The media is trying to portray Assange as "fanning" the flames of conspiracy by commenting on the alleged robbery attempt saying as he does in the video that he and journalists are concerned when things like this happen. But why would they not be concerned?
Given the successful offensive against US workers over the past 40 years, the power of the mass media, the absence of a workers political party and the complete capitulation of the heads of organized labor to capital, class consciousness is low and conspiracy theories abound. But remember Jessica Lynch , the Gulf of Tonkin incident? And how we were convinced of WMD's in Iraq. The CIA has assassinated or assisted the forces that assassinated hundreds of political opponents abroad. Lumumba, Allende, Walter Rodney, a failed attempt at Chavez. The Reuters journalist was killed in the collateral murder video and an Al Jazeera journalist was also killed by US fire in Baghdad. And as anyone that reads this blog knows, I believe Pat Tillman was assassinated by the US military.
There is every reason for Assange and Journalists to be "concerned".
We have an expression here in the US when we ask people how they are or if we express concern about something: "It's all good" people say. But all's not good by any measure of success. US society is in a deep economic and political crisis. We have come through an unbelievable election period the last year. Trump cannot win and we have right wing Republicans and bourgeois supporting the hated Hillary.
Now Wikileaks is constantly undermining her election run. There is panic behind the scenes we cannot imagine how deep that panic runs; the US ruling class is well aware of the explosive history of the working class and oppressed peoples in this country. The American people to a great extent are in a bubble, sports, stupid reality shows, partying, all diversions under the mantra, "its all good". But there is alongside this a "real" reality and in the last analysis consciousness, ideas, have a material base and this base is, massive debt and insecurity, a crude health care system that does not provide the basic care for millions of people and often leads to bankruptcy for others. Homelessness or the fear of it, the lost job, lost home, remnants of the Great Recession fear of hunger. The phony reality of the mass media and other detours will only work for so long.
I read today that a child starved to death in West Virginia.West Virginia is a basket case, a third world country within our borders as are many urban areas, wracked with unemployment and drugs, but it's all their fault we are told. It's all due to personal failure and individual choice the mass media and dominant ideology would have us believe. Accepting that argument is part of the psychological warfare against us and we will free ourselves of that malady when we come to realize the crises around us are due to policies coming out of the US Congress written by representatives of the very people calling Assange our enemy and that he should be a victim of a drone attack. Our resistance to them is met with police violence, more security and spying.
It's time to get off your asses fellow workers. If you love your community, your friends, your children and grandchildren, your camping trips, hunting trips, the great outdoors, you cannot avoid a fight any longer, a fight against the real enemy and those who harm us most are not outside our borders, not in exile in Russia like Snowden or Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London or Manning serving 35 years for telling us the truth
They're here in the US and we outnumber them.