Civil rights campaigners, human-rights advocates, the wrongly or falsely accused and whistle blowers, these catalysts for change to varying degrees all share similar experiences in the difficult journey towards truth and justice.
One of those experiences stands out above all else for those that have and will in the future eventually prevail; a series of realisations that completely reshapes their world view and the ability to recognise and trust the traumatically acquired schema, in the face of naysayers and doubters, as an accurate understanding of what has and or is unfolding around them.
Most Westerners, especially the affluent, view their own homes, neighborhoods and so-called democracies as safe places. This is of course completely natural as they have never had any reason to doubt this deeply ingrained, nevertheless delusional, belief as anything other than their reality (this generalisation excludes our elders who lived through the 2nd world war).
This apathy, however unfortunate, has been witnessed in the past. In comparatively recent history with the rise in 1932 of Germany’s national socialist party, many affluent Germans of the time, the middle class and junior aristocracy, were completely oblivious to reality and failed to see the inherent dangers in what was unfolding around them, which of course had been masked by a well oiled propaganda machine designed to pump out patriotic rhetoric….the message; she’ll be right mate we know what we’re doing…. there in lay the problem!
The world, as many men, woman and children living in other less fortunate parts of the globe know only too well, is not a safe place; it is far from it and that danger has now extended to our so-called western democracies. One of us here at Lauda Finem, a devout follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s underpinning philosophy of “Satyagraha“, has spent a great deal of time in India. Near the beginning of his first (2000 AD) journey throughout the subcontinent he concluded:
“the filth, the squalor, the poverty and deprivation it’s everywhere, its always in your face and with no attempt to conceal it you can do little to avoid extreme discomfort. But that being said in reality the West is no different, the only obvious difference is that we have become expert at burying our own squalor and excrement, all the while foolishly denying its existence”.
In India there is an inescapable, albeit alarming, honesty when it comes to filth, squalor and the existence of corruption. Its everywhere, its up front, its in your face, its pervasive from the humble local station master to the privileged parliamentarian in Dehli. No one attempts to conceal it, they couldn’t even if they tried, there are just to many witnesses. Nor do they pretend to do anything about it (except when the IOC gets involved, but that’s beside the point).
As an aside and somewhat amusingly, when asked about Western civilisation, Mahatma Gandhi sardonically replied, “I think it would be a good idea” how refreshingly honest – so do we!
Our point is that in India and countries similar, the filth is obvious for all to see (the Wikileaks database is full of cases for those that might care to look) and thus if there was an ability to change it, something could honestly be done.
In the west, however, its never been that simple. Mainly because the filth, in what ever form, is not at all obvious and when its exposed its quickly buried. Its been buried in landfill (poisoning aquifers), in dodgy judicial proceedings (poisoning the rule of law) and in government cover-ups, the existence of which are slowly poisoning western democracy and our much touted “moral high ground“.
In a way the aforementioned realisation, one humble man’s observation of everyday life in India, is an apt metaphor for the way in which those that have been targeted and hunted experience their own deeply personal epiphanies.
The realisation, having only just scratched the surface, that the filth is everywhere and that what is happening to them is real, that they too have become victims of evil (evils thought only to have existed in corrupt wealthy Arab nations or third world countries), and that their safety has always been a complete myth; which now, thanks to Wikileaks and others like them, has now been exposed for all to see.
Then of course comes the realisation that no one is doing the right thing or even wanting to step forward and render assistance comes as a shock to the whistle-blower or any other victim of government malfeasance.
The result is the complete annihilation of any sense of security the victim may have clung to, the child like view of the world instilled by loving parents and what they had been taught to believe was a just society.
It is only then that the victim of malfeasance and subsequent vilification has a complete comprehension of the wrongs that can and often are committed; the death of the victims previous belief system is then complete.
The myth of western justice and democracy has been reduced to just that “MYTHOLOGY“, a child’s fairy tale, a series of parables repeatedly chanted by government sponsored story tellers, Corporate high priests and party political spin doctors who have for decades laboured not for justice but rather to bury the notion that injustice, in this day and age, even exists.
The wrongdoings and crimes of those who desperately cling selfishly to power are buried, and along with them anyone brave enough to attempt to expose this criminal behaviour. Despite these recurring very contemporary themes existing they are constantly denied or excused and at worst buried.
Historically, with the assistance of a profit driven corporate media, genuine concerns have been laughed at, ridiculed and those responsible for the exposure vilified, with celebrity fingers pointing to the past, “it could never happen here” they screech.
“Everybody with an IQ above room temperature is on to the con act of our media. They are obeying bigger, richer interests than informing the public — which is the last thing that corporate America has ever been interested in doing.”
– Gore Vidal
The behaviour, according to the naysayers, belongs to a distant past, to the history books, where it will remain as a lesson to those in power of what comes of discontent; Infamous stories such as that of the French revolution. Perhaps therein lies the current concern of many western political parties’, their incumbent politicians and the (clued up) power brokers who finance them, some of which are the very same financiers who hide behind many of Hollywood’s most famous trademarks.
History, for those smart enough to look, can indeed impart knowledge and understanding. This very concerning albeit phenomena is especially relevant for those so-called democracies who concurrently have high unemployment and increasing poverty rampaging amongst a well educated, previously affluent, middle-class voting majority… that might swing to the extreme right or left looking for someone in power to blame and a new messiah.
An excellent example of this contemporary “State” denial and the extraordinary tactics and effort western Governments are going to so as to shut down legitimate debate, descent and democratic freedom is currently unfolding in the United Kingdom with the attempt to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden; and as Assange and his followers would have a naive and unsuspecting public believe, then on to the US where he is at risk of facing a Kangaroo court and the posibility of the death penalty (Assange is currently a guest of Ecuador’s London embassy awaiting a decision on his application for political asylum).
The fears that are held by Assange and his supporters have inherent credibility, not the least of which because Assange himself has spent years exposing similar criminal State sanctioned behaviors all over the globe, but more significantly because many others who have their own personal experience of how the “dark-side” of western democracies operate have, on this rare occasion, come to Mr Assange’s aid. Men who have in the past also been caught in a fight to the death with a far greater foe; the might of “ultimate power corrupted”.
One amongst those supporters is veteran whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers (top-secret government documents that showed a pattern of governmental deceit about the Vietnam War).
Ellsberg is exceptionally well qualified to recognise what is in fact unfolding in the Assange case; it happened to him four decades ago under yet another corrupt US administration. Is the all important “pattern of governmental deceit” obvious to Mr Ellsberg!
Then of course there’s Australia’s very own government whistle-blower Andrew Wilkie (now an honourable member of our Federal Parliament). Yet another man that is very well qualified to recognise “patterns” of corrupt behaviour.
Mr Wilkie resigned as an intelligence analyst at the Office of National Assessments in 2003 and went public about the alleged manipulation of intelligence in the Howard government’s case for invading Iraq. He is also on public record when it comes to the Assange case and Wikileaks:
“The organisational response to whistle-blowers is pretty predictable. They’re [portrayed as] troublemakers, they don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re mentally unstable,” “When organisations [governments, parliaments, police and the civil service] are confronted with people they find they can’t control they often lash out fairly powerfully and savagely.”
The latest to come to Assanges aid is a renowned crusading former Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón; he to has volunteered to represent WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pro bono (free of charge), saying Assange is neither a pirate nor a terrorist. Mr Garzón also view’s the Assange case as affecting human rights, democracy and free expression; obviously Judge Garzón is again very well qualified to recognise the aforementioned “pattern”; and the behaviour of bent governments.
Retired Judge Garzón came to international attention on 10 October 1998 when he issued an international warrant for the arrest of former Chilean President, General Augusto Pinochet, for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens.
The almost surreal irony that surrounds Garzón’s intervention is that his former prey, General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte the murderous military dictator, was at the time protected by ongoing litigation using the United Kingdom’s courts and a resultant Privy Council (Law Lords) decision that went on to become a well used precedent. The upshot; Pinochet ultimately escaped prosecution, thanks to the intervention of Britain’s then Prime Minister and yet another Yankee President, Bush senior:
“The Lords, however, decided in March 1999 that Pinochet could only be prosecuted for crimes committed after 1988, the date during which the United Kingdom implemented legislation for the United Nations Convention Against Torture in the Criminal Justice Act 1988. This invalidated most, but not all, of the charges against him; but the outcome was that extradition could proceed. In April 1999, former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former US President George H. W. Bush called upon the British government to release Pinochet. [which he was on March 3rd 2000]“
We too agree with Judge Garzon’s veiw of the Assange “witch hunt” and the likely affect it will have on human rights, democracy and freedom of expression. The Assange case is almost certainly being driven by those behind various international political agendas, one powerful government in particular, and is almost certainly not about justice.
As Sir Salman Rushdie, yet another victim of this type of “State sanctioned” vilification, who yet again was protected by the United Kingdom, had good reason to observe:
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” ― Sir Salman Rushdie
In fact Mr Rushdie’s vilification and the subsequent threat to his life, at the hands of the Iranian state’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on on 14 February 1989 is undoubtedly the most appropriate of parallels.
So what is happening in the Assange case? Assange has after-all been repeatedly subjected to the United States very own version of Iran’s “Fatwa” (calling for his murder) by none other than high ranking american leaders, civil servants, extremist right wing academics and media celebrities such as:
Mitch McConnell (US Republican senator for Kentucky):
“I think the man is a […] terrorist and […] needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and if this becomes a problem you need to change the law.”
5 December 2010: “Julian Assange is a terrorist, enemy combatant”
“Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant [Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, torture]. WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively.” 6 December 2010: “Assassinate Julian Assange”
Tony Shaffer, (former Defense Intelligence Agency officer):
“I would look at this very much as a military issue. With potentially military action against him and his organization.”
Sarah Palin(Member of the Republican Party, former candidate):
“Hunt down the WikiLeaks chief like Taliban” “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaida and Taliban leaders?”
Mike Huckabee(who was planning to be a 2012 Republican presidential candidate):
“anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”
Lindsey Graham, (referring to WikiLeaks):
“We’re at war. I hope Eric Holder, who’s a good man, will start showing some leadership here and get our laws in line with being at war.”
30 November 2010 – “WikiLeaks is a terrorist organisation”
Rick Santorum (former Senator, another possible presidential candidate for 2012) said at a speech in New Hampshire that Julian Assange should be “prosecuted as a terrorist”
1 December 2010 – Assassinate Julian Assange
Bill O’Reilly (Fox News):
“I’d like to see a little drone hit Julian Assange. I think he is a bad man. If he lived in Britain 007 would take care of him.”
So are Assanges fears real or even valid? Of course they are, and it will get worse if we allow it to. It’s time that all citizens (those who truly value their own freedoms and so-called democracies) stood up to the few men and women responsible for a civilization in decline and stop leaving it to a brave minority people like Julian Assange, lest history repeat.
If our readers need any additional evidence that something is not quite right; two other notable cases have now also emerged subsequent to Mr Assange’s arrest. Unsurprisingly they are employing very similar, if not identical, tactics.
The kim Dotcom affair, yet another attempt by the US to extradite a foreign national on highly dubious charges, in suspect circumstances with even more questionable commercial and political agendas.
Then of course there’s the case which involves anti whaling activist Paul Watson, of Sea Shepherd fame, in what clearly appears to be copy-cat act; wherein incumbent foreign governments with very bad records when it comes to honesty and integrity: it now seems that Japan and Costa Rica, may have colluded, having picked up on the latest US strategies and the lack of public outrage, and themselves decided to pursue Watson using the latest US extradition techniques.
The fact remains, however, those that stand up for what is right, by exposing that which is very wrong, will always be vilified. Once subjected to these techniques they are forever changed. That of course is the risk that those in power take when attempting to destroy innocent, right thinking individuals so as to cover-up systemic abuse or corruption, for once someone has experienced this type of malfeasance their world view is for ever changed and often, having survived that experience, they are left with an insatiable appetite for continuing and in some cases expanding the war.
These individuals have become well armed and equipped to recognise those responsible and more importantly for the battle’s they will need to confront.
They are also given the wherewithal to recognise misfeasance and the ongoing efforts, by those in power, who are attempting to hunt down and destroy others who want to tell the truth and so also come under attack.
History is littered with such stories and the events that eventually lead to the under-dogs victory, the battlers; the men, women and families who refused to capitulate…..for all true Australians it’s what gives this country purpose, the reason for our existence…..we live, we breath descent!
Despite his years in the wilderness it happened for Winston Churchill with the Nuremberg trials and it will continue to happen for the brave, nevertheless at great personal cost….which no one could ever hope to repay.
In effect, for the brave, the patient and the resilient warrior the tables are more often than not turned on evil politicians, civil servants and administrations; those who set out to abuse trust and power for their own nefarious purposes.
As the old saying goes “When the hunter becomes the hunted” and as technology advances the playing field will continue to be leveled, the forest in which the hunter hides will be felled; a fact that has undoubtedly not escaped the eye of the huntsmen; the few evil men and woman who lay behind the persecution of Julien Assange, private Bradley Manning and, in the name of corporate greed, the impending collapse of our western democracies.
We should therefore be ever vigilant when it comes to our access to knowledge and information, an international arena which is now under attack.
The internet is replacing orthodox media, its even beginning to replace books; the down side to this phenomena and the technology is that the entire body of our collective knowledge, the news and history and the dissemination of it, will in time, be even more vulnerable to attack.
On the April 6th, 1933 the German Nazi Government started burning the repositories of collective knowledge and political opinion, which were then contained in a few libraries, book stores and the collection of books they held, a parallel for what we might now refer to as the web and the billions of pages this miracle of technology avails to ordinary citizens every day. Wikileaks is but one, albeit important, volume in a collection which those that remain hidden are now obviously intent on burning!
“Perhaps the story you finish is never the one you begin.”
“Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organisational Power by C Fred Alford Whistleblowers by Myron P. Glazer The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself by Stephen Martin Kohn www.wikileaks.org www.ellsberg.net
- Human Rights v Institutional Wrongs – an Accessible Bill of Rights (Lauda Finem)
- Assange is ‘neither pirate nor terrorist’ (todayonline.com)
- Ex-judge to represent Assange (timesofmalta.com)
- Julian Assange is right to fear US prosecution (guardian.co.uk)
- Assange ‘helpless’ due to US secrecy (bigpondnews.com)
- Spanish judge hits out at US over Assange (news.smh.com.au)
- Our mercy mission for Julian Assange (guardian.co.uk)
- Christine Assange: ” If the Us Is Willing to Treat Us-soldier Bradley Manning Inhumanely, What Will They Do If They Get Their Hands on Julian?” (faktensucher.wordpress.com)
- Aust can’t fight Assange’s extradition (news.theage.com.au)
- Spanish judge to lead Assange defence (bigpondnews.com)
- Pinochet judge Baltasar Garzon to represent Julian Assange (panarmenian.net)