Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Need to Take A WikiLeak

Whatever you think of the propriety of the recent document dump that the anarchists over at Wikileaks have graced us with, one thing is inarguable-there really are some awfully stupid people in charge of national security. As my wife aptly pointed out in a text message to me this morning: “Really, an army private has access to what King Abdullah says in his bathroom? Hahahaha.” Every time I start to think that maybe there is something to all those conspiracy theories out there, I’m confronted with the reality that governments are completely incapable of keeping any secrets.

Our government sure is pissed about this latest release of secret diplomatic cables, although one wonders how secret they really were when roughly three million people had access to them. Their protestations of injury ring a little hollow to me. This is a government that justifies its intrusion on the lives of its citizens with increasingly oppressive security and surveillance by intoning, “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide." Talk about being hoisted by your own petard. The government is clearly pissed at having thousands of ready examples of how their back room maneuvering was completely at odds with their propaganda, circulating so freely on the interwebs. Compared to what's in those the diplomatic cables, our government's everyday press releases and public pronouncements on the same subjects appear to have been totally fabricated.

As Norman Solomon noted over at the Huff Post, “In a democracy, people have a right to know what their government is actually doing. In a pseudo-democracy, a bunch of fairy tales from high places will do the trick. No government wants to face documentation of actual policies, goals and priorities that directly contradict its public claims of virtue. In societies with democratic freedoms, the governments that have the most to fear from such disclosures are the ones that have been doing the most lying to their own people.”

The foregoing does much to explain why the administration has been much more interested in assigning blame for the leaks than discussing their contents. Concentrating on what is in the cables would open up all sorts of uncomfortable subjects for discussion in the main-stream media. (Although, I wonder. They usually report the administration's nonsense as factual without letting anything like best-practices journalism get in the way.) Since diplomatic malfeasance reaches across the aisle these days, Congress is similarly outraged. Not at the contents of the cables, but at their dissemination. Peter King-(R)NY has gone so far as to suggest that Wikileaks be charged under the USA Patriot Act as a terrorist organization. Joe Lieberman (Lieberman-CT), frames the leak as an attack on our national security, and presumably would recommend torture and indefinite imprisonment in a secret CIA prison for Julian Assange.

I’ll close this entry with the same question Solomon posed in his article, which is a really, really good question: “[W]hat kind of "national security" can be built on duplicity from a government that is discredited and refuted by its own documents?” Indeed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Triumphant Return

Hi, I’m back. I might explain my absence at some point, or I might not. This blog might still be about politics, or it might not. I haven’t decided yet. All I know is that I find myself getting bored and feeling mildly depressed that I don’t have some outlet for my mental diarrhea. Since this page was already set up I figured, why not? With all the Cialis spam clogging up the comments section it looks like I have a readership in the millions. Why not build on that base?

Speaking of the base….tsk, tsk Obama. Freezing the salaries of Federal employees is one sure fire way of dooming your re-election hopes for 2012. Not that I give a crap. You lost me somewhere between the Wall Street bailout and that blow-job you gave the insurance companies that you call “health care reform”. Nevertheless, what kind of president cuts middle-class salaries in the middle of a recession in a country where 70% of the economy is driven by consumer spending? A one-term president, that’s who.

I only hope that at some point prior to the drubbing you’re bound to receive at the polls two Novembers hence, your fixation on deficit reduction draws your sleepy eyes towards the disaster in Afghanistan. Our little foray in nation-building in the Middle East is costing us six billion dollars a month, which is enough to hand each and every American taxpayer a million dollars. Imagine how putting all those dollars into the stream of commerce would stimulate the economy? But Americans aren’t bankers, are they? So we won’t be the recipient of any government largesse this holiday season, will we? In fact, all the grannies and disabled widows and the blind people will have to tighten the belt another notch this year because there isn’t enough money in the budget for a cost of living increase. Bah, humbug indeed.

And yet….we both know that the money really is there, don’t we. Unfortunately it’s locked up in yachts and mansions and private jets, all purchased with our tax dollars that you gave to the bankers in the na├»ve hope that some of it would trickle down to the masses and stimulate the economy. I, for one, have always been able to tell the difference between getting stimulated and getting fucked, and I must say this feels more like the latter than the former.