Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Matthew Dowd's great column on Wikileaks

Now that Julian Assange has turned himself in, governments around the world can breath a huge sigh of relief because Enemy Number One, the first global outlaw since Deep Throat to raise the question of the nation's political malfeasance, is finally "under control."

Matthew Dowd's column on Wikileaks is pretty close to mine own take and well worth reading. (See link below) In short, he argues that governments are inherently self-serving; they don't care much about citizens, they care only about self-preservation.

Governments expect citizens to placidly go along with any searches for information they wish to conduct, regardless of whether they violate a citizen's right of privacy. Yet when a whistle blower like Assange shines a light on government corruption or ineptitude, using the same invasive tactics that governments now use spy on their own people, they express outraged. Isn't this just another example of hypocrisy?

Dowd's second point is worth thinking about, too: why doesn't the media support Wikileaks? Doesn't the press serve as a watchdog? Isn't it supposed to be in the business of exposing wrong-doing and corruption of people who wield power? Shouldn't they be serving their readers by making government more acountable and by exposing the truth? Why has there been a blanket of silence thrown over the media regarding the apprehension of Julian Assange? Why has the press allowed its corporate masters to perpetuate the government's lie that Assange is a traitor to Western ideas of democracy?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the mainstream media is firmly held by large corporations that prop up governments and help elect officials who put their corporate interests ahead of the people's inherent right to know the truth?

Read Dowd's column here for yourself if you have five minutes. And shake your head in disgust at what has happened to democracy. Where are the investigative reporters? You're more likely to find them on the internet these days than drawing paychecks from newspapers or serving as TV newscasters or foreign correspondents.

Assange is someone we should admire. He is the student standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Someday, he will be universally acclaimed as a hero of democracy, a gadfly of the first rank, as patriotic as Daniel Ellsberg.


And for more commentary on how the media has abandoned its watchdog role in favor or cheering on the persecution of Assange, read this column from the Guardian's Simon Jenkins:


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