Bulletin N° 813
(documentary film, 51 mins)
An interview by Shir Hever with the filmmaker.
Subject : The Forgotten History of Class Struggle and Surveillance.
28 August 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The unconscionable mass murder of 30,000 French revolutionaries in the period of eight days in Paris (Bloody Week, 21-28 May 1871) led predictably to a deep despair among the working classes and others in Europe and beyond. It was a severe lesson for the late 19th-century Socialists who had to learn what the ruling class was truly capable of doing in order to protect their political and economic hegemony.
In England, following this event, a Socialist movement grew out of callow Romanticism and Radicalism, and beginning in the early 1880s one of the architects of this new movement was William Morris, the famous painter, poet, designer, architect, inventor, and community organizer, par excellence. William Morris, scion of a wealthy industrial family, had evolved to devote himself to bringing revolutionary culture to the working masses of England. At a time when British bourgeois biases imbedded a near-slave like mentality in English workers, Morris made a clean break with his social class, an event in his life which he called “crossing the river of fire.” Very few of his upper-class friends and acquaintances joined him, least of all is wife. He described the class he deserted in a letter to his former radical associate, T. C. Horsfall in 1884:
You think that individuals of good will belonging to all classes of men can . . . bring about the change. I on the contrary think that the basis of all change must be, as it has always been, the antagonism of classes . . . . Though here and there a few men of the upper and middle classes, moved by their conscience and insight, may and doubtless will throw in their lot with the working classes, the upper and middle classes as a body will by the very nature of their existence, and like a plant grows, resist the abolition of classes . . . . I do not say that there is not a terrible side to this: but how can it be otherwise? . . . . For my part I have never under-rated the power of the middle-class, whom, in spite of their individual good nature and banality, I look upon as a most terrible and implacable force: so terrible that I think it not unlikely that their resistance to inevitable change may, if the beginnings of change are too long delayed, ruin all civilization for a time.(p.376)
The story of Morris’ odyssey has been carefully mapped in a powerful 900 + page study by the famous British social historian E.P. Thompson, William Morris, Romantic to Revolutionary (London,1955). In many ways this fascinating life is a social history of revolutionary aesthetics in the early stages of industrial capitalism and with the birth of the Third Republic in France. The owners of capital had taken their gloves off to domesticate the working class, and the so-called “liberal” regimes in Western Europe had revealed themselves for what they really were, a philistine gang of men ready to commit any crimes necessary to preserve their privilege and power, which was essentially based on managing labor exploitation so that they could get what they valued most. This continual class warfare was not the invention of workers, who sought to defend their human rights against political and economic oppression, but rather this war was contrived by capitalists as one essential tactic within the larger general strategy of capitalist class plunder, which requires also nationalist wars and, similar in purpose, ethnic and religious wars, so that class-conscious struggles can be displaced by identity politics and fratricide, also conducted for the profit of capitalist owners. (It has been pointed out that even a mosquito knows the advantage of not drawing attention to his exploits.)
In an environment of extreme inequalities, it can only be expected that the economic injustice will produce various forms of violence, including class-conscious struggle. The accumulation of wealth through egregious exploitation of alienated labor expropriates our lives from our own control and brings social production into the hands of a few private managers of capital. This involves a protection racket, i.e. the Security Industry which today has expanded beyond national borders and into a world market, producing guns and technology for hire around the world. Traditionally, this industry exploits minority ethnic/religious groups who are more or less alienated from the rest of society and can sometimes be recruited to act against the interests of society and, when necessary, with extreme violence. This alienation is cultivated and serves to smooth the relationship between the security “hardware” and the human agent operating it. Thus, the efficient interface between man and his security technology - a nearly perfect human adaptation to a sort of prosthesis, or extension of the man’s body (his weapon and weaponized ideas) – assure no psychological/technical adjustment problems. This industrial unit becomes a valuable commodity to guarantee high performance on the job. But the advertised value must be demonstrated before it enters as a commodity on the World Market, before any sales can be concluded.
Enter Gaza: The laboratory for managing future class struggles around the world, with proven results. The Israelization of the world!
Military and paramilitary history since WW II, is full of examples of this phenomena of capital management, including various Fascist groups for hire in Europe, including, of course, the infamous Secret Army Organisation (Organisation armée secrète or OAS), a gang of torturers in Algeria during the War of Independence, who, once defeated in North Africa, were recruited by the CIA to train torturers in South America for the US imperialist cause. [Please listen to discussions at the November 23, 2006 CEIMSA conference on the University of Grenoble Campus which followed the viewing of Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 film The Battle of Algiers and was led by Professors Charles Lancha (professor emeritus of Spanish-language cultures at UGA and the late Mohamed Benrabah (UGA professor of social linguistics) who spoke on the subject of French torture techniques in Algeria which were valued highly by the CIA and were ultimately purchased by the United States government for police instruction in Latin America.]
The 21 items below will serve to remind readers that class struggle exists as the historic bedrock of social change. We can ignore it only at great peril. President Harry S Truman once quipped: “The only thing new in the world is the history I didn’t know.”
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
Sent: Wednesday, 22 August, 2018
Subject: H-PAD Notes 8/22/18: Links to recent articles of interest
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
By Alfred W. McCoy, TomDispatch.com, posted August 21
The author teaches history at the University of Wisconsin and is author of the recent In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.
By Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe, posted August 19
On heavy-handed US support for Boris Yeltsin's reelection in 1996
By Clive Irving, The Daily Beast, posted August 17
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted August 16
A retrospective on the first near-17 years of the US war in Afghanistan
By the National Security Archive at George Washington University, posted August 15
Newly declassified documents on nuclear planning in the 1960s
By the National Security Archive, posted August 10
The documents were released in response to a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act.
By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted August 9
The author teaches history at Tufts University.
By Fred Pearce, History News Network, posted August 4
The author is a journalist whose latest book is Fallout: Disasters, Lies, and the Legacy of the Nuclear Age (2018).
By Margaret Power, Political Research Associates, posted August 4
The author teaches history at Illinois Institute of Technology and is a co-chair of Historians for Peace and Democracy. She grew up in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and in this article she describes and analyzes its shift from "blue" to "red."
By William I. Hitchcock and Melvyn P. Leffler, Washington Post, posted July 31
The authors both teach history at the University of Virginia.
By Lawrence S. Wittner, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted July 31
The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany.
Thanks to an anonymous reader for suggesting some of the articles in the above list list and to Steve Gosch for suggesting some and consulting on all of them. Suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holocaust had Roots in Africa, Now Namibia is Suing Germany
by Andre Vltchek
Without understanding what happened to the Herero and Nama people, it is impossible to understand what occurred right before and during World War II
In 2014, after I published my report about Namibia, exposing the German ‘semi-denial’ that it had committed a Holocaust in its former Southwest African colony; a renowned German university sent me a letter. I paraphrase here, but the essence of the letter is kept intact:
“Dear Professor Vltchek, we are impressed by your research and your conclusions, and we would like to translate and publish your groundbreaking analyses in German language. Unfortunately, we cannot afford any payment…”
It was one of the major universities in the country, with tremendous budgets and an international reputation.
I replied, asking why, with all those scholars and academics, with PhDs and experts, they had never sent a team of experts to Namibia, to investigate one of the most horrid crimes committed in the 20th Century? I wanted to know, why they would suddenly want to rely on the work of a foreigner, an outsider, an internationalist who refuses to call himself an academic (for me it is now a totally discredited term)? Murdering the Herero and Nama people in Southwest Africa by Germans was, after all, the key for comprehending what happened several decades later, in Europe itself, during the Holocaust that Germany went on to commit against the Jewish and Roma people.
The university never replied. I suppose they sensed that I was ‘dragging them’ into some extremely dangerous waters. They did not want to ‘be there’; they preferred the safe, calm waters, where some foreign left-wing intellectual writes something, they translate and publish it, putting a disclaimer that this doesn’t necessarily reflects the position of their respected journal and the university. As far as they were concerned, taboos should remain taboos, and the dunes of Namibia should be stirred just a little bit, for a limited intellectual discussion only. No storm, please!
It doesn’t take rocket science to discover what I did in Namibia. There, I met common people, in slums and universities. I met UN experts and Namibian government officials. I undusted various archive documents. I consulted scholars in neighboring South Africa.
In Africa, Namibian history is no secret. Nothing is taboo. This is what is common knowledge in Windhoek or in Cape Town in neighboring South Africa:
The Germans drove into the desert, and then exterminated, over 80% of the entire nation – the Herero. The Nama people lost around 50% of its population. The concentration and extermination camps were built; monstrous medical experiments on human beings were perpetrated. German ‘doctors’including those who were working on ‘the pure race doctrine’ in Namibia (the doctrine later used by the Nazis in Europe), subsequently ‘educated’ many German racist physicians, including the notorious ‘Angel of Death’ – Mengele. The most notorious doctor, who experimented on human beings in Africa, was Eugen Fischer.
Not surprisingly, the first German governor of the colony was the father of Hitler’s deputy, Herman Goering.
The holocaust in Africa is directly connected to the holocaust in Europe.
The Anti-Empire Report #159
The mind of the mass media: Email exchange between myself and a leading Washington Post foreign policy reporter:
by William Blum
July 18, 2018
Dear Mr. Birnbaum,
You write Trump “made no mention of Russia’s adventures in Ukraine”. Well, neither he nor Putin nor you made any mention of America’s adventures in the Ukraine, which resulted in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014, which led to the justified Russian adventure. Therefore …?
If Russia overthrew the Mexican government would you blame the US for taking some action in Mexico?
Dear Mr. Blum,
Thanks for your note. “America’s adventures in the Ukraine”: what are you talking about? Last time I checked, it was Ukrainians in the streets of Kiev who caused Yanukovych to turn tail and run. Whether or not that was a good thing, we can leave aside, but it wasn’t the Americans who did it.
It is, however, Russian special forces who fanned out across Crimea in February and March 2014, according to Putin, and Russians who came down from Moscow who stoked conflict in eastern Ukraine in the months after, according to their own accounts.
Best, Michael Birnbaum
The CIA Owns the US and European Media
by Paul Craig Roberts
William Blum shares with us his correspondence with Washington Post presstitute Michael Birnbaum. As you can tell from Birnbaum’s replies, he comes across as either very stupid or as a CIA asset.
When I received my briefing as staff associate, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which required top secret clearance, I was told by senior members of the staff that the Washington Post was a CIA asset. Watching the Washington Post’s takedown of President Richard Nixon with the orchestrated Watergate story, that became obvious. President Nixon had made too many overtures to the Soviets and too many arms limitations agreements, and he opened to China. Watching President Nixon’s peace initiatives water down the threat level from the Soviet Union and Maoist China, the military/security complex saw a threat to its budget and power and decided that Nixon had to go. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy had resulted in far too much skepticism about the Warren Commission Report, so the CIA decided to use the Washington Post to get rid of Nixon. To keep the clueless American left hating Nixon, the CIA used its assets in the leftwing to keep Nixon blamed for the Vietnam war, a war that Nixon inherited and did not want.
Black Agenda Report
Toward a New Vision for the Palestine Solidarity Movement
by Brandon Do
“For 70 years Israel has been the biggest purveyor of war and chaos in what colonizers termed as the “Middle East.”
May 15th, 2018, referred to as Nakba Day by the Palestinian people, marked the 70th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland by what would become the State of Israel. In demonstration against Israel’s ongoing theft of land and systematic genocide of the Palestinian people, the Great March of Return that began on March 30th served as a testament to the native Palestinian peoples’ striving for a future without occupation, a future in which they can determine their own destiny. Israel responded by gunning down hundreds of demonstrators.
This crackdown on the Great March of Return generated international protest, most notably from the football star, Lionel Messi, who refused to compete in an exhibition match with Israel set to take place in a stadium that was built on top of a demolished Palestinian village . However, the violence of Israel was also met with overwhelming support from the United States. On May 14th, as children were being slaughtered by the Israeli state, the United States initiated the move of its embassy to Jerusalem, bringing to fruition the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 , which recognized the ancient city as the State of Israel’s capital and set aside funds for the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Israel is arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine
by Asa Winstanley
Israeli arms are being sent to a heavily armed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine, The Electronic Intifada has learned.
Azov Battalion online propaganda shows Israeli-licensed Tavor rifles in the fascist group’s hands, while Israeli human rights activists have protested arms sales to Ukraine on the basis that weapons might end up with anti-Semitic militias.
In a letter “about licenses for Ukraine” obtained by The Electronic Intifada, the Israeli defense ministry’s arms export agency says they are “careful to grant licenses” to arms exporters “in full coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government entities.”
The 26 June letter was sent in reply to Israeli lawyer Eitay Mack who had written a detailed request demanding Israel end all military aid to the country.
Azov’s official status in the Ukrainian armed forces means it cannot be verified that “Israeli weapons and training” are not being used “by anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi soldiers,” Mack and 35 other human rights activists wrote.
They had written that Ukrainian armed forces use rifles made in Israel “and are trained by Israelis,” according to reports in the country.
The head of the Israeli arms export agency declined to deny the reports, or to even discuss cancellation of the weapons licenses, citing “security” concerns.
But Racheli Chen, the head of the agency, confirmed to Mack she had “carefully read your letter,” which detailed the fascist nature of Azov and the reports of Israeli arms and training.
Both the defense ministry letter and Mack’s original request can be read in the original Hebrew below.
Mattis: Putin Is Trying To “Undermine America’s Moral Authority”
by Caitlin Johnstone
At a graduation ceremony for the US Naval War College (barf), US Secretary of Defense James Mattis asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin “aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America’s moral authority,” and that “his actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals.”
This would be the same James Mattis who’s been overseeing the war crimes committed by America’s armed forces during their illegal occupation of Syria. This would be the same United States of America that was born of the genocide of indigenous tribes and the labor of African slaves, which slaughtered millions in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya and Syria for no legitimate reason, which is partnered with Ukrainian Nazis, jihadist factions in Syria and Iranian terror cultists, which supports 73 percent of the world’s dictators, which interferes constantly in the electoral processesof other countries as a matter of policy, which stages coups around the world, which has encircled the globe with military bases, whose FBI still targets black civil rights activists for persecution to this very day, which routinely enters into undeclared wars of aggression against noncompliant governments to advance plutocratic interests, which remains the only country ever to use nuclear weapons on human beings after doing so completely needlessly in Japan, and which is functionally a corporatist oligarchy with no meaningful “democratic model” in place at all.
Gina Haspel CIA Torture Cables Declassified
Lest We Forget
What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy
Posted - March 06, 2012
The history of the terrorism conducted by the CIA, since the end of the World War II when countries in Asia and Latin America, were trying to make changes to improve their economical and political situation, the Unite States realized that it was not good for their status as new super power; and began a new campaign, with only one rule, Anything Goes.
This is the story of the terrorism of the CIA.
The chimera of British anti-Semitism (and how not to fight it if it were real)
by Norman G. Finkelstein
The current hysteria engulfing the British Labour Party resolves itself into a pair of interrelated, if discrete, premises: Anti-Semitism in British society at large and the Labour Party in particular have reached crisis proportions. If neither of these premises can be sustained, then the hysteria is a fabrication. In fact, no evidence has been adduced to substantiate either of them; on the contrary, all the evidence points in the opposite direction. The rational conclusion is that the brouhaha is a calculated hoax—dare it be said, plot?—to oust Jeremy Corbyn and the principled leftist politics he represents from British public life.
But even if the allegations were true, the solution would still not be to curb freedom of thought in the Labour Party. At its worthiest, the Left-Liberal tradition has attached a unique, primordial value to Truth; but Truth cannot be attained if dissentients, however obnoxious, are silenced. Given the fraught history of anti-Semitism, on the one hand, and its crude manipulation by Jewish elites, on the other, an objective, dispassionate assessment could appear beyond reach. Still, it must be attempted. The prospect of a historic victory for the Left might otherwise be sabotaged as, thus far, Corbyn’s supporters, whether it be from fear, calculation, or political correctness, dare not speak the name of the evil that is afoot.
The degree of anti-Semitism infecting British society has been the subject of numerous polls over a sustained period of time. These surveys have uniformly, consistently, and unambiguously concluded that anti-Semitism (1) has long been a marginal phenomenon in British society, infecting under 10 percent of the population, (2) is far less salient than hostility to other British minorities, and (3) is less pronounced in the UK than almost anywhere else in Europe. One might suppose that settled matters. But in 2017 the British Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) published a study that purportedly refined conventional wisdom by measuring the “elasticity” of anti-Semitism: that is, not just the percentage of confirmed anti-Semites, but also the prevalence of stereotypes that stigmatize Jews. It found that, whereas a mere 2-5 percent of the British population can be reckoned anti-Semites, fully 30 percent harbor at least one anti-Semitic stereotype.
"What's Happening To Corbyn Is A Trial Run
For Bernie Sanders"
by Professor Norman Finklestein And George Galloway
Joining George on the Mother of All Talk Shows is Professor Norman Finklestein, who calls in to discuss the ongoing Antisemitism row
within the Labour Party.
A Gangster State
by Craig Murray
Max Weber defined a key attribute of a state as holding the monopoly on the legitimate exercise of violence within a given territory. For anybody other than the state to use substantive physical force against you or to imprison you is regarded as an extremely serious crime. The state itself may however constrain you, beat you, imprison you and even kill you. That link is on deaths in police custody. I might also quote the state murder of 12 year old British child Jojo Jones, deliberately executed by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government.
That is but one example of the British state’s decreasing reticence over the use of extreme violence. The shameless promotion of Cressida Dick to head the Metropolitan Police as reward for orchestrating the cold-blooded murder of an innocent and unresisting Jean Charles de Menezes is another example. So is Savid Javid’s positive encouragement of the US to employ the death penalty against British men stripped of citizenship.
There are a class of states where the central government does not have sufficient control over its territories to preserve its monopoly of violence. That may include violence in opposition to the state. But one further aspect of that is state sanctioned violence in pursuit of state aims by non state actors, done with a nod and a wink from the government – death squads and private militias, often CIA supplied, in South America have often acted this way, and so occasionally does the British state, for example in the murder of Pat Finucane. In some instances, a state might properly be described as a gangster state, where violent groups acting for personal gain act in concert with state authorities, with motives of personal financial profit involved on both sides.
It appears to me in this sense it is fair to call Britain a gangster state. It has contracted out the exercise of state violence, including in some instances to the point of death, against prisoners and immigration detainees to companies including G4S, who exercise that violence purely for the making of profit from it. It is a great moral abomination that violence should be exercised against humans for profit – and it should be clear that in even in most “humane” conditions the deprivation of physical liberty of any person is an extreme and chronic exercise of violence against them. I do not deny the necessity of such action on occasion to protect others, but that the state shares out its monopoly of violence, so that business interests with which the political class are closely associated can turn a profit, is a matter of extreme moral repugnance.
Rory Stewart appeared on Sky News this morning and the very first point he saw fit to make was a piece of impassioned shilling on behalf of G4S. That this was the first reaction of the Prisons Minister to a question on the collapse of order at Birmingham Prison due to G4S’ abject performance, shows both the Tories’ ideological commitment to privatisation in all circumstances, especially where it has demonstrably failed, and shows also the extent to which they are in the pockets of financial interests – and not in the least concerned about the public interest.
I should add to this that Tories here includes Blairites. Blair and Brown were gung-ho for prison privatisation, and even keen to extend the contracting out of state violence for profit to the military sector by the deployment of mercenary soldiers, which New Labour itself consciously rebranded as “private military companies”. Iraq was a major exercise in this with British government contracted mercenaries often outnumbering actual British troops.
Why confronting Israel is important, Alison's interview
on new apartheid law, and more...
The Iron Wall
Colonisation of Palestine
Agreement with Arabs Impossible at present
Zionism Must Go Forward
by Vladimir Jabotinsky
Originally published in Russian under the title O Zheleznoi Stene in Rassvyet, 4 November 1923
"The Jewish Herald" (South Africa) Friday, 26th November, 1937
Opposing racism in the US while supporting it in Israel,
mass abductions, and more...
Genocide of the Greek Nation
by Paul Craig Roberts
The political and media cover-up of the genocide of the Greek Nation began yesterday (August 20) with European Union and other political statements announcing that the Greek Crisis is over. What they mean is that Greece is over, dead, and done with. It has been exploited to the limit, and the carcas has been thrown to the dogs.
350,000 Greeks, mainly the young and professionals, have fled dead Greece. The birth rate is far below the rate necessary to sustain the remaining population. The austerity imposed on the Greek people by the EU, the IMF, and the Greek government has resulted in the contraction of the Greek economy by 25%. The decline is the equivalent of America’s Great Depression, but in Greece the effects were worst. President Franklin D. Roosevelt softened the impact of massive unemployment with the Social Security Act other elements of a social safety net such as deposit insurance, and public works programs, whereas the Greek government following the orders from the IMF and EU worsened the impact of massive unemployment by stripping away the social safety net.
Traditionally, when a sovereign country, whether by corruption, mismanagement, bad luck, or unexpected events, found itself unable to repay its debts, the country’s creditors wrote down the debts to the level that the indebted country could service.
Time Has Come For Russia To Finally Ditch US Dollar - Foreign Ministry
Russia will definitely respond to Washington’s latest sanctions and, in particular, it is accelerating efforts to abandon the American currency in trade transactions, said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
“The time has come when we need to go from words to actions, and get rid of the dollar as a means of mutual settlements, and look for other alternatives,” he said in an interview with International Affairs magazine.
“Thank God, this is happening, and we will speed up this work,” Ryabkov said, explaining the move would come in addition to other “retaliatory measures” as a response to a growing list of US sanctions. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak recently noted that a growing number of countries are interested in replacing the dollar as a medium in global oil trades and other transactions.
Watching America Collapse
by Paul Craig Roberts
In the 1950s and 1960s the United States was a vibrant society. Upward mobility was strong, and the middle class expanded. During the 1970s the internal contradiction in Keynesian demand management resulted in stagflation. Reagan’s supply-side economic policy cured that. With a sound economy under him, Reagan was able to pressure the Soviet government, which was unable to solve its economic problem, to negotiate the end of the cold war.
This happy development was not welcomed by powerful forces, both in the US and Soviet Union. In the US the powerful military/security complex was unhappy about losing the Soviet Threat, under the auspices of which its budget and power had soared. Right-wing superpatriot conservatives accused Reagan of selling out America by trusting the Soviets. The American rightwing portrayed President Reagan as the grade-two movie actor dupe of “cunning communists.”
In the Soviet government Gorbachev faced a larger problem. With trust established between the two nuclear powers, Gorbachev released the Soviet hold on Eastern Europe. Hardline elements in the Soviet Communist Party saw too much change too rapidly and concluded that Gorbachev had sold out the Soviet Union to Washington. This conclusion resulted in Gorbachev’s arrest, and the consequence of his arrest was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.
With communism departed, the Russians forgot all of Marx’s lessons about capitalism and naively concluded that we were all now friends. The Yeltsin government opened to American advice and, by naively accepting American advice, Russia was looted and reduced to penury. Russia under Yeltsin became an American puppet state, and the Russian people paid for it with a great reduction in their living standard.
Julian Assange and the Fate of Journalism
by Lawrence Davidson
Julian Assange is the Australian founder of Wikileaks—a website dedicated to the public’s right to know what governments and other powerful organizations are doing. Wikileaks pursues this goal by posting revelatory documents, often acquired unofficially, that bring to light the criminal behavior that results in wars and other man-made disasters. Because Wikileaks’ very existence encourages “leaks,” government officials fear the website, and particularly dislike Julian Assange.
Essentially, Wikileaks functions as a wholesale supplier of evidence. Having identified alleged official misconduct, Wikileaks seeks to acquire and make public overwhelming amounts of evidence—sometimes hundreds of thousands of documents at a time—which journalists and other interested parties can draw upon. And since the individuals and organizations being investigated are ones ultimately responsible to the public, such a role as wholesale supplier of evidence can be seen as a public service.
Unfortunately, that is not how most government officials see the situation. They assert that government cannot be successful unless aspects of its behavior are conducted in secret. The fact that those aspects in question thereby lose any accountable connection to the public is discounted. The assumption here is that most citizens simply trust their governments to act in their interests, including when they act clandestinely. Historically, such trust is dangerously naive. Often government officials, even the democratic ones, feel no obligation to their citizens in general, but rather only to special interests.
Barrett Brown discusses his recent and very public falling out
with Julian Assange,
his perspective on Wikileaks and the role of Assange within it,
and his exciting new “Pursuance Project”
Julian Assange's Mother Implicates Seth Rich In DNC Leak