A Week in WikiLeaks

Julian Assange doesn't like plumbers...

It’s been a bad week for Wikileaks found, Julian Assange. First, last Sunday, Republican Congressman, Pete King, started pushing for Wikileaks to be classified as a terrorist organization. Then, on Monday, Sarah Palin called for Assange to be hunted down as an “anti-American operative.”

But what Tuesday held in store made The Maverick look more like The Moderate. First, an established Canadian politico outright said he should be assassinated, while a Canadian newspaper wondered why he wasn’t already dead. Meanwhile, back in the US, authorities started looking into charging Assange under the Espionage Act.

Then, Late Thursday night, Wikileaks was dropped by their domain name provider and is now fighting to stay online (on a Swiss domain at Wikileaks.ch). Finally, on Friday, just as Ron Paul, a Republican, came to Assange’s defense today, arguing that he deserves the same protections as the mainstream media, Swedish authorities got a bit closer to getting him extradited from the UK to Sweden where he’s “wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.”

Timely Accusations

Rape is one of those things where the mere accusation can ruin you. No matter how you’re cleared in a court of law, the allegation will always hang over like the rancid musk of leprosy and rotting flesh. No one will ever want to get too close to you ever again. You’ll be untouchable.

Which isn’t to say that Assange did or didn’t do those things he’s suspected of having done by Swedish authorities. We weren’t there, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s just one big game of Swedish he-said-she-said, and we don’t speak the language, so I guess we’ll just have to sit this one out. But hard to ignore the timing of both the allegations and renewed pressure to bring him back to Sweden.

Back on the Ranch

But this whole mess is a lot bigger than Assange and his allegedly unruly member. The move to classify Wikileaks as a terrorist organization is Machiavellian maneuver that’ll extend well beyond silencing some perverted dissident.

First, it would prohibit US banks, and companies like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, from processing payments to the group. More importantly, it would also make it a federal  felony to provide WikiLeaks with “material support or resources”.

If the GOP can push this one through, what we’ll be looking at, here, is the criminalization of information. Anyone who has it is a terrorist, and anyone who consumes it becomes one.

In a world like that, everyone with a mobile phone and a data plan is at risk — is a risk. One wrong “Like” or search query and you’re a freedom-hating enemy of the state to be neutralized in a swift and exacting manner.

Liabilities and Treason: Cantor, Israel, The GOP and the Logan Act

The Logan act was passed in 1799 as a means of prohibiting unauthorized US citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. Essentially it is a means of ensuring that there is a singular and cohesive foreign policy for the United States government. Over the last 211 years it has ensured that the US has the ability to speak with one voice to foreign powers. However there have been violations.

Kissinger & Nixon

It is safe to argue that Henry Kissinger violated the act when he undermined the negotiations with North Vietnam when he suggested that they should post-pone agreement till after Nixon was elected president. Charles Wilson violated it when he negotiated with the government of Pakistan to set up the training and equipping of the mujahidin during the soviet-afghan war. However this is not a post about the ramifications of those past events although they do set a precedent that they were not prosecuted for doing so. In fact no one has ever been prosecuted for violating the act.

Eric Cantor

The most recent possible violation though occurred when the new Republican Party whip Eric Cantor held separate negotiations with Benjamin Netanyahu. Eric Cantor intends to have the three billion dollars that the United States gives to Israel every year reclassified and taken out of the hands of the US state department. Instead the US would fund Israel directly through the defence department.  In a meeting between Cantor and Netanyahu, Cantor promised that the GOP “understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.” Another key point of the meeting was that Cantor promised to work against the White House on any issue that might seem to be against the interests of state of Israel.

Here are the important factors of that. If the United States begins to directly fund a foreign military force then the overall sovereignty of the foreign state is compromised. This further ties the United States to Cold War era position in the middle east that has become as much a political liability as it as strategic one. Instead of trying to redefine the alliance between the United States, the GOP is opting to go for something that has essentially allowed Israelis to maintain an unwinnable position in both the West Bank and Gaza while over stretching their limited resources. It also goes against the long standing republican concept that foreign policy should be the domain of the administration and not congress. Think back a few years when George W. Bush was in power. When Nancy Pelosi tried to negotiate Syria, the GOP essentially called for her head.

So here is the thing. If Obama wants to reassert his control over the legislative branch he should consider reprimanding Cantor. Make an example of him. Put the fear of god into him as well as his Party. It is only a matter of time before the GOP house begins to actively try to destroy the president like they did to Clinton. So Obama should be proactive. It is clear that the GOP has no desire to bend or compromise on any policy initiative so it becomes important then for them to understand who is charge and that if they try to have a two tier foreign policy that they will be held accountable. The maximum sentence a violation of the Logan act holds is three years, if Obama wants to seek a compromise then he should consider only putting Cantor away for a year and a half. Obama might even regain some of his political dignity in the process and the Israelis might consider that their defence policy should not be tied to a foreign government.

2 Years With No Chance of Parole

So they’ve done it again. The Americans have put the Republicans back in charge of Congress. And why? Because they’re mad at the Democrats for not having been able to clean up a mess that the Republicans made.

Source: CNN

It’s like a cruel joke that a bunch of beautiful, hormone addled  co-eds would play on that fat girl from the mid-West who always talks about her mother in the first person. You know, the one that likes to whisper and blush to her roommate about the schoolgirl crush she has on the extreme frisbee player who lives down the hall. The whole fucking thing is stupid, juvenile, and probably going to scar a lot of innocent, helpless folks for the rest of their meager lives.

It took the Republicans and their benefactors nearly a decade to stuff the economy down the drain pipe, and Obama has only had 2 years to try to pull it back out again. I mean, the man has already become first Black man in the White House! How much more can you expect from him? Especially in only 2 years. He has some some pretty damn big shoes to fill as it is. And you know what they say about a man with big shoes…

What do you want him to do next? Walk on water? I mean, Jesus, he’s the first Black president of the United States of America, not Jesus of Nazareth. And even if he was, what good would that do? Jesus might’ve been a miracle worker, and what he did with some bread and fish was impressive, but a lot of good that would’ve done for the credit crisis or unemployment rate.

But really, it’s all seems a bit too convenient to be coincidental. I mean, after Dubya, the GOP knew that the party was over (at least for the moment), so why not let someone else clean up the mess? And when the stains and cigarette burns wouldn’t come out of the carpets and furniture, they’d be there to help pick out new ones.

It kinda remind me of what Chretien did to Martin. Martin spent years trying to oust Chretien. In the end, Chretien managed to hold on to the reigns of the Liberal Party and ended up retiring on his own terms, letting Martin take control of the party with no real contest.

But what what Martin inherited was a sponsorship scandal that had happened on his watch as Finance Minister. He tried claiming that he hadn’t know about it, but the damage was done. Either he was a liar, or he was an inept jackass who was unfit to run the country. The party’s image was ruined and Martin’s career along with it.

But hey, politics is a cutthroat business, so you have to watch yourself when you’re shaving. You think you’re doing something that’s going to make you look good, clean cut, and trustworthy, but you come out looking like a pirate with more scars than war stories, and no one trusts a record with that many omissions.

I mean, for everything that can be said about the strategic genius and tact of Dr. James Carville, he’s just one man. There are hundreds of cutthroat rogues with only half of the talent of Carville swelling the ranks of the GOP, but when you add them all, the Dems are out-manned and out-gunned.

But hey, the problem with the GOP is the same problem with the profession of policing. The sobering reality of it all is that we need police and we need conservative (if only to balance out the left-wing wing-nuts that would have us living on communes and growing cilantro) — liberal democracy just wouldn’t work otherwise.

The tragic reality, however, is that the kind of person attracted to those jobs are the wrong kind of person for those jobs. Both professions seem to attract a disproportionate amount of hate-mongers, tyrants, and douche-bag jocks with small penis complexes and nothing else to do with themselves ever since they graduate high school and had football season confined to the boob-tube.

That being said, it’s kind of hard to ignore that the GOP does seem to be a lot better at the long-term game than the Dems. It seems like every time the history books turn around, the Dems are reacting to some mess, movement, or crisis that has roots somewhere deep in the Good Ol’ Party’s legacy.

Mind you, even that’s probably because of the GOP’s incestuous gene pool. I mean, if they really are attracting a disproportionate number of hate-mongers, tyrants, and douche-bag jocks with penis envy, that’s gotta make it that much easier to arrive at a consensus and build strategy in general.

Gawd, I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’m the mad one for having some semblance of hope or even speaking up in the first place.