Thursday, March 03, 2011

I Hate The War

In today's snapshot, considerable space was devoted to issues involving Bradley Manning. That meant putting other things on hold. It's worth it. He's an Iraq War veteran, he's been charged and re-charged but he's still not getting a court appearance. How many months does the military think they can hold him without trial?

And it was also past time to address the blurring of Julian Assange with Bradley Manning. Bradley Manning is under military arrest and facing serious charges. I though Little Julie's fan base kept insisting he's not been charged with anything?

People are getting pissed off. I'm not in a bubble. I'm out on the road speaking about the Iraq War. The Cult of St. Julie can keep on hawking him but they need to draw a line because Bradley looking at serious charges and Julian Assange is now an anchor. His negatives have risen considerably and, outside of the left bubble, that's very evident.

The Cult of St. Julie should listen to their hero. He has repeatedly stated he has no knowledge of Bradley Manning. So why do these Kevin Zeeses, et al keep linking the two men together. That's what the United States government wants to do, yes. But I wasn't aware that Kevin Zeese's many faults also included government agent. Did I miss that on his CV?

Maybe Zeese, et al are actually an explanation of why the left is so leaderless today? No, not because Kevin's a government agent (he's not one) but because they're too busy responding that they can't lead. They go in circles over and over, taking orders (unknowingly) from their opponents. They're so busy responding, they just can't see to lead.

I don't give a damn about Julian Assange and I'll go into that in a moment but if I did, I damn well wouldn't go around doing the US government's work for it by repeatedly establishing a link between Bradley and Assange. That's why the government wants to attempt espionage charges. When Assange's supporters link the two men, they poison the potential jury pool and do the ground work for a prosecutor who would be attempting to convince a jury that the two men have some sort of a relationship.

I give a damn about Bradley and he's not being helped right now by the lazy efforts to do a "DOUBLE FUNDRAISER" or a "TWO FOR ONE RALLY!"

That's reality and anyone who doesn't grasp that is living in a bubble. Now that's fine, you can live in a bubble. Some people spend their entire lives in a bubble. But where it's not fine, where there's a problem, is when someone is potentially facing a very long, very hard prison sentence if convicted and you're living in a bubble is putting him at risk. Bradley Manning's been treated as a side story.

That's so shocking because so many on the left have used this barely an adult as a pinata. He's barely an adult. And the screw ups that people living in their bubble are making with him could result in his entire adult life behind bars. That's not acceptable to me. I can't believe it's acceptable even to those living in a bubble.

Now let's talk about Julian Assange. I don't like him. I have a friend who gets herself in trouble repeatedly by promising she'll do this or she'll do that. For example, in the midst of a legal battle, she promised a woman that since she (my friend) was good friends with (the now late) Steve Ross and don't worry, everything will be fine. I like my friend very much (and she's going to see this and know I'm speaking about her and not be happy) but if she makes promises, she needs to keep them. For her, it's all one carnival and she breezes in and out. But the people she promises to help, they're still stuck with the same problems and it's not amusing to them. If someone feels like they're drowning and you tell them you're going to throw them a lifeline, that's what you need to do. In terms of Assange? He grandstanded on he was going to do this for Bradley and that. And he never did. And then, at the end, he gave a small little donation to the legal fund only because he'd been publicly shamed into doing so and it was causing him negative publicity. In a very good friend, this behavior irritates me to no end. In a stranger? I won't tolerate it.

I don't care for the realities about Assange that have emerged nor the ones waiting in the wings. Like a number of people, I long ago grew turned off by the behavior of his Cult. They lie and then they take their lies and they accuse the other side of doing it. That's what Elaine was calling out (rightly) yesterday. Naomi Wolf, Michael Moore and Keith Oblermann (among others) smeared two women they knew nothing about. Savaged them. And to turn that around and claim that the three are victims of feminists who just can't accept this or that? As Elaine pointed out, feminists have not said, "Julian's a rapist!" Why would we? We don't know. We weren't there. But the Cult keeps attacking these women that they don't know and they do it with lies, they bend the truth to make their man look better. (Key word "man.")

Why are they so invested in this man they've never met? He was not WikiLeaks. He was a part of it. A minor point. The ones leaking were always the primary part of WikiLeaks.

I've never been surprised or bothered to see a child lie for a parent or a spouse lie to cover for another spouse. But there's something very disturbing about these people who are so willing to lie for someone they've never met.

Go back to the archives, we defended WikiLeaks. We defended Julian Assange once and only once and that was with regard to an interview that was supposed to be about the Iraq War and instead turned into rumors. Even with CNN friends still pissed at me about what I wrote on that, I stand by it. That's not what the interview was about, that's not what the focus was. The fact that events now allows some to insist that interview 'news worthy' to some in retrospect does not give that trash value. That was trash. I said that then and I say it now.

But because that wasn't the forum to ask about that (a brief CNN segment that will run on hourly news) doesn't mean that the issue is off the table and no one can ask about it.

We pointed out that the scandal wasn't going away and that Assange wasn't WikiLeaks, he was a part of it and that it would be smart for someone else to step up and publicly represent WikiLeaks.

Those are points I still stand by.

But WikiLeaks died a long time ago. WikiLeaks was supposed to be releasing information, setting it free, to the public. It was taking away the barrier. And for the Collateral Murder video, they did that. And they got plenty of attention for it. There was never a reason -- other than ego -- to team with the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel, to keep the public away from certain documents, to provide them to outlets in advance, etc. None of this is about getting the information to the public. Getting the information to the public was done by the WikiLeaks website.

At some point, the world got to see Julian Assange start declaring, "If anything happens to me, this little poison pill goes out." About what? About the banks, about this, about that. Assange has that information not so he can use it to extort, he has that information because people (apparently wrongly) thought leaking it to WikiLeaks would get out to the people.

When he's screaming to the Guardian, for example, that this can't be reported on yet and he's got it on hold and it's his -- no, it's not. Just as the governments wrongly believed they could determine when the people were 'ready' for it, Assange now puts himself in that same role and wrongly thinks that he has ownership on any of this. (See "Editorial: The short life of WikiLeaks" for more on this topic.)

The man has serious problems and those problems might be more evident were it not for the fact that so many of his supporters have even bigger problems.

Julian Assange is not a reporter. He is not a journalist. He's not a 'new journalist' or a 'new media journalist.'

If I act in a movie and you distribute it, that doesn't make you an actor. If you write a song and I release a recording of it, that doesn't make me a songwriter.

To be something, you have to do something.

Assange demonstrated that he wasn't a journalist. Originally, he depended upon the 'blogosphere' to get the releases attention (I'm referring to prior to 2010) and that sometimes led to some big press in the MSM. But that wasn't good enough for him. So he made deals with major dailies and with networks (tried to make deals with networks more than actually made them). He would provide them with source material and they would report. They would.

If you're a journalist, you're a journalist. Look, I love Jane Wagner too. I get the point in The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe. Two street walkers, Brandy and Tina, are pursued by a reporter.

Tina: Brandy, you're too open with people. If you noticed, I held back. I'm not selling the screenplay to my life for no fifty dollars. We could get a tape recorder. We can be writers, too. You don't need to know how to type no more. We can write as good as he can write if what he's writing is what we're talking. We should've got co-credit, or something. When the article comes out, it's gonna say, written by him. It should at least say, 'Lived by Brandy and Tina.'

But even as she makes the (solid) point that her life is going to be used as source material, Tina's smart enough to realize that if they want their name on it, they should write it.

The New York Times is a media outlet. Huffington Post is a media outlet. The National Enquirer is a media outlet. I'm not judging the excellence or lack of any. But those are media outlets. And reporters work is published by them.

Prior to the relationships Julian Assange formed with various outlets, an argument could be made that WikiLeaks was a journalist the way Beacon Press was when they published portions of the Pentagon Papers in book form. But that was always stretching it with WikiLeaks even then. And pointless because Julian Assange's actions ensured that WikiLeaks, in its final days, would be nothing but a courier service -- delivering leaked papers to news outlets so that the news outlets could report on it.

The push to call WikiLeaks "journalism" is a table with many legs. There was the thought (mistaken) that WikiLeaks would have more legal cover if they were seen as journalists. WikiLeaks is an organization outside of the US that never employed US citizens. Under what is it going to be charged? The Justice Dept all this time later can't come up with charges that they feel will stick. Another leg of the table is the 'new media' types/wannabes who see, in WikiLeaks, reflections of themselves. "It's a new world!" the boyz proclaim before adding, "yeah, Ma, I'll be out of the basement in time for dinner." Another leg is the it's-never-good-enough-for-me-I-need-to-make-this-a-bigger-story drive.

Publishing words does not make you a journalist. If that's all it takes, I want to see the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory nominated for a Pulitzer.

My opinion?

It's my opinion, you can agree with it or not. You can attack me for it. But if you're goal is to help Julian Assange, you might try grasping it because it's not a tiny view. And people like me -- we are out there -- care less and less about Julian Assange and less and less about keeping that to ourselves as his Cult repeatedly piles on one outrageous claim after another. While I can't be brought back into the fold, others might be able to. If you've assigned yourself the job or persuading people that Julian Assange is innocent, you might try making that case. When you attempt to argues his innocence while also arguing he's god-like and drawn by a calling not unlike Saint Boniface . . . It gets to be way too much for most people to swallow and that has helped to speed along the backlash that's showing up against Julian Assange.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4442. Tonight it is [PDF format warning] 4442 still.

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