I love the rage against Julian Assange. It shows how effective the Wikileaks drop has been. Schumer: “This man has put his own ego above the safety of millions of innocents… He should be extradited, tried for espionage, and given the most severe penalty possible.” And just now on WNYC, Massimo Calibresi of Time was saying that Assange doesn’t really care about gov’t transparency, he’s just a grandiose showman/freak/autodidact from a nomadic background. And we have learned from this that the media shouldn’t just be a firehose, but should make “appropriate” decisions about what to run, says Calibresi. Liberal Jamie Rubin formerly of the State Department was as angry as Schumer on Chris Matthews the other night, and Matthews seems to want Assange arrested. I’m told Richard Cohen was completely dismissive today. Quel surprise.
A few quick thoughts on the cables drop:
- It is a historic huge event. We will be figuring out what it means for years. It is like the Pentagon Papers in that respect, it will transform the terrain. Calibresi says it will result bureaucratically in more secrecy. Gosh, I don’t care; it’s the biggest breaking of secrecy I’ve ever seen.
- People are gaining enormous information about how government works. This is a phenomenological, objective truth. 250,000 cables. Wow. The cables will be studied and studied; and many people will learn from them.
- Despite the characterizations of Assange as a weirdo and anarchist, he’s a leftwinger; and this is a huge power move for the Left. The Left is aided enormously by these cables, left wing discourse. The appropriate decisions that the media made for us gave us the destruction of Iraq. Assange is angry about that, enraged about the killing in the Middle East, that’s my assessment of his statements. And he has taken bold action.
- Could this affect American status in the world? Knock it down. Yes, absolutely. Why are Schumer and Matthews so angry. They know.
- Everyone is telling us that Assange is a weird cat. OK, he’s weird. I don’t care. They went into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office when that went down. I bet Dan Ellsberg was weird. A lot of people are weird. All the stuff about the sexual assault charges against Assange and his cult/theater/dropout background may be true (and let him be tried); but these matters are actually trivial next to his political motivation and action.
- Did you notice how familiar so many arguments in the cables were? That’s because you heard them before; these State Department guys have been piping them to the NYT and other MSM voices for years. Assange is trying to break that daisy chain. No wonder Rubin is mad and the MSM is upset. This was their game, they got to make the decisions. And notice, they’re madder than when Assange’s Iraq information allegedly endangered soldiers and exposed soldiers’ atrocities. Now it’s journalistic/diplomat conspiring that’s been exposed.
- Will the cable drop damage people, hurt relationships, even end some careers? Yes I’m sure it will. Gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.
- Susan Abulhawa notes that many of the cables seem to serve Israel’s interests, and she wonders about the sources… She’s not alone, other friends of mine wonder; Assange has actually praised Netanyahu in one statement or another. Myself, I don’t buy it. I think the lobby spins everything all the time, and the cables will actually shed a lot of light on how the special relationship works, in the long run. Latest morsel: Jane Harman of California, jumping in on a congressional meeting with Mubarak to press him about cutting off supplies to the people of Gaza. Doesn’t this woman have better things to do with her time?