Bad Faith, Worse News, and Julian Assange
Thank you, especially to all of my regular readers for supporting my work during what must have felt like a very quiet period these last months. I've been working quite hard behind the scenes, and have a great deal planned for next year that wouldn't have been possible without you. You'll be the first to hear when it's ready.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.
"As a measure of journalistic impact, the Pulitzer Prize holds significantly less prestige than the CIA plotting to murder you." Very well put. Happy Holidays, in spite of these dark times.
I am sure many of your readers don't watch Fox News but I want to give a shoutout to one "gelled automaton" on Fox: Tucker Carlson. As far as I know he is the only one in mainstream media who has spoken out forcefully and often about the JA travesty. Given that he is the most watched media figure, that is important and he deserves credit for not shying away from the truth about JA's persecution. Anyway... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Edward. I hope there will be a day soon when you and your family can celebrate the season back home.
Your discussion of the Janus-like doublethink reminds me of this JP video about meta-denial (being in denial that you’re in denial): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si97as8Y25s
On a more serious note, I opened my new “Profiles in Courage” series with a reference to Assange’s impending extradition. My first entry focuses on Dr. Tess Lawrie (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/profiles-in-courage-dr-tess-lawrie/), and I hope to feature you at some point, Edward.
I would especially like to call your attention to my “Ode to a Whistleblower” at the end of that piece as I had people like you and Assange in mind when I wrote it. If you have any way of contacting Assange, could you please share this with him and send him my gratitude for his tenacious bravery and the sacrifices he (like you) has made to reveal the truth?
Julian Assange has suffered so much for his bravery and his commitment to shedding light on authoritarian rule. The impact of his suffering is a black mark on our times. History is being written and we need to be clear on what side of history you stand for. The only thing that can save us from totalitarianism is freedom of the press. It is oxygen
American government is, and has been for decades, a criminal enterprise. The persecution of Assange for doing honest journalism is just the baldest, most naked example of its evil. Your wise and just assessment of its crime and that of the cowardly, complicit official UK make put the crux of the matter in simple, honest terms. America is an amoral danger to the entire world.
Chris Hedges did a great interview with Nils Melzer re Assange - I recommend it ...
Having watched multiple dissections of the US "case" against Assange and a repeated dismantling of it, frankly I have come to the conclusion that this is personal - it is simply revenge -
Well written and great food for thought as always. Very keen to see what the new year brings.
I really respect and appreciate the way you approach topics, and the nuance with which you write about things which are often painted in very bold and partisan strokes.
I've found this happens in particular when discussing Assange. I often find it difficult to thread the needle and explain my stance of appreciating all that he has done for freedom of information, while not necessarily agreeing with the ways he might have acted as a person, yet still being adamant that his extradition and prosecution are Very Bad Things, for not just journalists and whistleblowers, but everyone - and that's not even getting into how people seem to want to personally blame him for everything that Wikileaks has ever and will ever do.
All this to say, once again, that I really do love the differing perspectives that you provide.
EDIT: Some clarification, because John seems to only understand absolutes and is weirdly caught up on assuming I was talking about sex:
I do not believe Assange deserves any of the terrible treatment he has received. I do not believe he has commited any "heinous crimes". I sometimes disagree with things he says or believes.
Disagreement is not condemnation, and it does not take away from the respect and appreciation I have for his actions, nor does it change how horrific I find his treatment at the hands of world governments.
Many people want to believe that bad things only happen to bad people (see the Just World fallacy, it's built into our brains as humans). I try to point out to these people that no - what he did was absolutely a net positive - but without falling into the hero worship and blindless support that so often shapes the way we interact with public or political figures. If you find you cannot disagree with anyone you respect, or you hate anyone who isn't 100% in agreement with you, 100% of the time, then you must live in a miserable world.
Thank you for beautiful and perceptive - and funny - Season's reflection. You photograph of [your?] child is so delightful - and such a sad comment at the same time. I won't give up my hope for Julian's release from the continuing torture by the UK, US and Australian sickos, but I do wish and suggest that republishing his writing, now, would pivet to the reasons he is such a great intellectual as well as as activist and truth teller. Just 'Wikileaks meets Google' available free from the Internet demonstrates the power of his intellect and humanity. And I love it that you have become such a fine writer over the years. Thank you for taking on more responsibility than is fair for one person on behalf of so many.
"Two-hearted, two-minded creatures: the media is full of them."
I'm not so clear on the "hearts" (is there even one?) but on the mind -- most members of the "media" are single-minded. Like Rachel Maddow, whatever it takes to get clicks (eyeballs) so they can afford their extravagant life-style.
They, like Obama, sold the-rest-of-us "down the river" with their "greed is good" gospel.
Only a few of us know this. Even fewer are able to discuss it. And maybe as few as 4 or 5 can expose it in a way that people will understand it.
Where is Huey Long when you need him? (Why does Long's assassination remind me of RFK and JFK? Why didn't Biden allow the declassification of the JFK murder? Why...? Why...? Why...? Did Bernie back down because he didn't want to follow in Long's footsteps?)
Could a case be made that if the rest-of-us ignore what is happening to Assange (and Hale; Manning; Snowden; Donzinger; ...) we deserve what we get?
Schadenfreude comes to mind, but it is hardly enough of an indictment. Does my failure to take action put me into the same category as those Jews who meekly, and voluntarily, walked into the ovens?
Does my purchase of 2 Assange T-shirts provide me any absolution?
What is the plan?
"I don't believe in God, or in institutions, or in government as a whole." Then how are you doing, Ed? Assange is not an accident that everything turned out like this. They know what they are doing and they do it in stages.
Whatever, don't give up. Merry Christmas to you!
Thank you so much for all you've done, especially for the UK. It's so appreciated. The voices here for liberty, press freedom and against surveillance and police overreach feel small. Seeing you still speaking out is really inspiring and encouraging. It's been really helpful hear about you describing the acts of individual citizens as laying bricks - worthwhile even if they don't bring about a final goal. A wonderful Christmas to you and your family!
Very true. I often wonder when did we take the turn to no journalism? I think it was when corporate greed took over news rooms. Then it just became an advertising revenue/ratings game for them. Protecting the truth died then I believe.... Merry Christmas.
Addressing the need for libraries and librarians to defend Julian Assange there is a 3 part blog post at Bibliotekettarsaka from Mikael Böök. It is available in English as well.
"hand on heart, is it unpolitical to leave Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks to their enemies, be silent, and pretend that nothing has happened? Would it not rather be apolitical? Can a library that wants to be a pillar of democracy and human rights be apolitical?"-- Mikael Böök at Bibliotekettarsaka .
Looking for Needles in a Haystack – Libraries and the Assange Case: Part 1.
Looking for Needles in a Haystack – Libraries and the Assange Case: Part 2.
Looking for Needles in a Haystack – Libraries and the Assange Case: Part 3:
The Bibliotekettarsaka blog is by Finnish Mikael Böök and Norwegian Anders Ericson. It is also in English.
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
-Some conspiracy theorist
Always delightful to see a Pynchon reference. That's the good news.