autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

On censorship, government, and transparency (Manning, Assange, Journalism, and Wikileaks)

I find that I am curiously bemused in the midst of disgust and disquiet over the recent events surrounding the actions of Bradley Manning and the subsequent events and actions against Julian Assange and the Wikileaks collective. It occurs to me that, for the first time in a while, the veil has well and truly dropped from the carefully smiling, benevolent faces of those would be our leaders. Not only this, the network of corruption, dominance, and terror that is the oil upon the wheels of this world’s nations and leaders is viscerally evident.

It does seem, to my mind, that it takes not a very great a leap at all to imagine that Manning chose his course of action as a direct result of preponderance; seeing the events of late, it is not at all difficult to pose myself the question, “Were I an analyst who encountered such information, how great would my faith in my government leaders be?” Nor to posit, “How much reasonable faith should I have in concepts such as whistleblower protections when the very people to whom I would turn for protection are likely the very ones authorizing and, indeed, perpetuating these acts?”

I can rather quickly understand a choice to turn instead to an outlet such as Wikileaks, regardless the overwhelming pressure of culture and society in relation to the duties of military service. Indeed, I can postulate almost as easily that, given the limited realm of choices (to wit: (a) do nothing, (b) trust in the government that allows these things to happen or perhaps directly authorizes them, or (c) turn to Wikileaks), that the decision for Wikileaks is not only logically valid, but reasonably sound.

Has anyone else, by chance, even noticed how nicely the items in Manning’s release to Wikileaks have utterly overtaken the pitiful circumstance of Manning himself?

For that matter, has anyone considered that, events unfolding as they have, the example set by the treatment of Manning is certain not only to staunch what faith may flutter in tatters, but very likely contribute in significant ways to ensuring that, at last, the minds and hearts of our fellow citizens are, in fact, liberated from their scales?

To be sure, it is the apparent gambit of our government leaders to strike fear and terror into all; to so greatly weigh down upon Manning that (to their minds) no one will dare risk the same.

To be sure, it is the obvious wager of our government leaders in all their arrogance and inebriated power, that they will succeed in leveraging the influence of their political action partners, lobbyists, and the related corporate interests around this world to both harry and ultimately quash Wikileaks and perhaps even destroy Assange (figuratively or literally).

It would seem that our “leaders” have at last come to a point of comfort and security in their positions that moving freely and with hubris as we see in various events of these last weeks is not only deemed possible, but preferrable.

I ask you — what, precisely, does this tell you about their perspective on you and I, on “we the people”?

More pointedly, I ask you — are they correct?

For most of us, living our day to day lives, the goal is simply to navigate the maze as simply and worry-free as possible. Journalism and media are, more often than not, entertainment rather than truth. We know this even as we allow ourselves to be molded, moved, and shaped by carefully constructed “news” that caters to our particular biases and preferences. After all, what chance to unite around similarities when there are so many convenient differences to keep us busy arguing, debating, fighting, or even warring?

It is worth saying that, by and large, we Americans are not people who wake up every day wondering how we might better debase and distance those with whom we disagree. Indeed, there are many of us who, every day, wake instead wondering how we will ever resolve the conundrum of differences when we cannot conceive how others can hold such wildly divergent perspectives from our own. And yet, despite any wish for cohesion, peace, and unity in our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, or the world, it seems there is always something new about which to be enraged, about which to feel distanced, and over which to war.

I admit, my perspective on “news” in particular and journalism overall have deteriorated greatly in the recent years. That said, I am also aware that no one who enters the field does so intending to be other than that staunch defender of free expression, nor to do other than serve apace as the barrier against which tyranny, terror, and deliberate tribulation must fail.

It is with this in mind that I ponder the various stories rising from these events and note with weary gratitude the presence of something other than avid support of all things congressional, federal, and presidential as relates to this terrible circus of censorship. I am thankful and relieved to see that there are yet journalists who both see and understand what these events can mean for humanity. Specifically, that unchecked abuse in the name of maintaining “good face” is the very epitome of corruption and that to embrace it whatever is to embrace as well every act that rises thereafter.

What Manning did, perhaps inadvertently, was to bring all of this to light by demonstrating a lack of confidence and trust in our leadership.

What Assange did, undeniably deliberately, was to set that stinking pile of corruption and self-interest into the strongest light possible, such as would be impossible to avoid or from which one could with anything other than complicity avert the eye.

The only question remaining is a simple thing, even as it is very likely the most difficult that any of us will face on this level for quite some time:

What are we going to do about it?

For my part, as meager as it is, it is my intention to immediately and completely sever any support of any company or government official who, in ANY WAY, supports sanctioning or punishment of Manning or Assange.

I am further going to continue expressing such thoughts as contained in this item, and I am going to encourage every person I know or meet to do the same. For truly, I cannot with any amount of will find my way to believe that we, as a people, are so willing to sacrifice in the name of nationalism or security that we will sacrifice those who call our eye to the unconsciencable acts that are and continue taking place.

Wrong is wrong, and those who bring a wrong to light are both heroes and treasures; people who should be thanked rather than taken to task.

“Corruption has its own motivations, and one has to thoroughly study that phenomenon and eliminate the foundations that allow corruption to exist.” – Eduard Shevardnadze

We are witnessing corruption in action. Who will speak? Who will act? Who will work to insist that ethic and law exist for reasons both valid and sound?