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People v Government
Government of the people, by the people, for the people?
'Of the people, by the people, for the people' - that's one of the worn-out lies of Barack Obama's government and a principle of civility informally adopted everywhere. It states that power in government comes from the people and that government exists for the benefit of the people.
Pipe dreams. Many of us believe - or at least want to believe - we're still living in democracies. Life's more comfortable that way. But the sad reality is that it's been quite a long time since such ideal conditions prevailed (if ever). Something's happened, as Bob Slocum might say, and it's almost always happening behind closed doors.
Marianne Ny wants a witch trial for Julian Assange behind closed doors and she's ready to whack the economy of the UK to get it. Sony, Apple, Facebook, and other parts of the constellation today known as 'the powers that be' are violating and exposing citizenries everywhere to gross violations of their privacy and personal integrity. They risk at most a slap on the wrist (if that).
What are these institutions and governments hiding? That's the rub. It's also the basis of the key issue at the heart of the whistleblowing campaign in the world today. Institutions and governments are deliberately hiding things they know are illegal or at the very least so totally unsavoury that they'd be in deep shit if word ever got out what they're doing.
Whistleblowing's long been a nearly futile and doomed experiment in pain. But now the world has a viable mere conduit - WikiLeaks - where whistleblowers can submit compromising documents exposing evil in institutions and governments with little or no risk of reprisal. WikiLeaks staff can most often not know the identity of their whistleblowers even if they want to (and they most certainly don't want to).
The WikiLeaks submission process builds not on the reputation of the whistleblower but on the accuracy of the submitted documents. Kristinn Hrafnsson took a team with him to Baghdad to check out the authenticity of the 'Collateral Murder' video. He met with the families of the victims themselves. He corroborated the authenticity of the leak.
Governments are supposed to work for the people. Governments derive all their power from their people. People have elections to choose their governments. Most countries have significantly better election turnouts than the US where perhaps 50% of those eligible to vote will bother about it. The other 50% have relinquished their option to be in control of their own government and their own destiny.
And that's a telling sign. That's a sign that says 'we trust everyone and we don't really care about anything'. Thomas Jefferson and other visionaries had a lot to say about people like that. And they weren't kind in their choice of words. But most of all they wanted to warn that couch potatoes undermine democracy and the rule of law - they predicted that lack of vigilance can turn a democracy into a tyranny. A tyranny much as we're finally seeing exposed today, thanks to WikiLeaks and their whistleblowers.
This all seems pretty simple logic - Thomas Jefferson thought so - but then come what Rick Falkvinge aptly calls the 'thoroughbred idiots' ('fullblodsidioter'). These are people short on brains and long on arrogance. Either that or they're trolls sent out by TPTB to sabotage and destroy popular movements to return governmental and institutional power back to the people.
The world's seen how the bumbling thoroughbred idiots of the City U school of journalism handled the concept of whistleblowing. They were goaded on by trolls like David Aaronovitch who today works for Rupert Murdoch. We've seen weasels like Daniel Domscheit-Berg and Birgitta Jónsdóttir collaborate with the powerful Bonnier Group and right wing think tanks in the US. And we've heard the cries from further thoroughbred idiots to have WikiLeaks be as transparent as the powers they're fighting, most recently from the anaemic James Ball, Heather Brooke, sellouts today to Alan Rusbridger, Nick Davies, and David Leigh of the Guardian, a funded publication that today seems to be under some sort of order from 10 Downing to fall in line with the New York Times and to crush whistleblowing wherever it can be found.
If secrecy is the seed of conspiracy, and if governments and institutions can perpetuate their crimes against their peoples by keeping things secret, then the information on what they're doing is the first step in undoing it. You can't attack evils in government if you don't know what they are. You can't get the big picture if you aren't able to totally open the governments and expose their conspiracies.
This is simple and impervious logic. And only a mind under contract to a corrupt institution or government or a mind so totally clouded by arrogance wouldn't see it.
The world-famous Flashback thread on Julian Assange has its own thoroughbred idiots of late. Of particular note is a newcomer who popped up right at the time of the release of the Gitmo files, right after WikiLeaks 'official partner' Aftonbladet began promising to report on them. (There hasn't been much reporting.) This is also the time for Aftonbladet's strategically timed attack on Assange by the childish diminutive bully Jan Guillou. Guillou, who stands an impressive 161 centimetres in his platform shoes, seems to have carried an inferiority complex around with him all his life. An inferiority complex so painful and haunting that he bullied his classmates in school to the point of assault and battery, thieving, and outright extortion and was ultimately banished to another institution for miscreants of his ilk. An inferiority complex so painful and haunting that he began making up stories about his abusive childhood and even winning huge film contracts and an Oscar nomination for his cruel mendacity. An inferiority complex so painful and haunting that he's ever since stolen things from his colleagues, dismissed them, castigated them, and above all used 'potty mouth' language in dealing with them. Jan Guillou is a tiny person (perhaps with proportional reproductive organs) who firmly believes the best defence is a good offence. That no one is actually attacking him is something he'll never learn. Jan Guillou is attacking himself but he'll never admit it.
And suddenly the same type of personality pops up at Flashback. The personality of Jan Guillou is thankfully so rare so one must wonder: is Albertus.Pictor a clone of Jan Guillou or even worse - the real thing?
And what does this character have in common with the James Balls, Heather Brookes, Daniel Domscheits, Birgitta Jónsdóttirs, Alan Rusbridgers, Nick Davieses, David Leighs, David Aaronovitches, and City U journalism students? Simple: namely that they feel the 'people' should practice the same transparency they demand of their governments.
There's only two ways someone can make such a suggestion. As pointed out here and elsewhere. They're either trolls in the employ of the powers that be or to use Rick Falkvinge's fantastic expression, they're thoroughbred idiots.
I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes. Because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable.
- Barack Hussein Obama, former US president