Julian Assange is a half-baked pseudo-crusader who apparently has nothing more worthwhile to do in his life than prey on the prejudices, ignorance, and fears of his audience. And his audience is quite the bunch (now including the Taliban), predisposed as they are to the prejudices, ignorance, and fears that Assange preys so easily and deftly, upon. PFC Manning looks like a quasi-innocent, the dim bulb in this string. He deserves our pity. Now, let me introduce Representative Lynn Woolsey, United States Congress, representing the 6th District of California.
The information about US military operations in Afghanistan that Julian recently posted appears to come from a leak that was in violation of US law. A not-too-bright PFC Manning of the United States Army is now being entertained by the United States Marine Corps at their special brig in Quantico, Virginia. In a recent piece in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat online forum, Lynn cited Julian’s WikiLeaks posting as justification for her vote(s) in the United States Congress against funding for military operations in Afghanistan. So we have three actors: Julian, PFC Manning, and Lynn. Let’s look at the role each of them has played.
Julian is a nobody, he is a transient in search of quick release, he is an opportunist who preys on ardent dimwits like PFC Manning. When Julian shows up to testify at PFC Manning’s court martial, I will believe that he cares about his sources. Until then, he is a pathetic waste of an apparently quite expensive education.
PFC Manning is a minor enigma, just the latest in a string of homegrown weak sauce leakers. It is conceivable that he will face the firing squad. And he will be alone, unless my judgment of his co-conspirator, Julian (above) is way off target.
Which brings us to Lynn, Representative Woolsey, who left her specialty of giving speeches to an empty House chamber to make a rare public declaration. And what a declaration! She is a long time elected official of the United States Government, until recently a democracy where “once the decision is made, we all get onboard”. But I don’t think she got that memo, because here she states that Julian’s leaks, apparently courtesy of PFC Manning, support her decision to oppose funding for Afghanistan.
This is a problem for me. Lynn is an official of the United States Government. She cites a source, that to all appearances derives from a grave violation of US law, as justification for her decision. Is this illegal? I’m not a lawyer, but it doesn’t look illegal to me. Is everything that isn’t illegal just fine and dandy and admirable and OK in every way? Not if you’re an elected official of significant power and trust.
By citing Julian’s leaks, Lynn gave high credibility to pointers to his activities. Her citation give tacit endorsement of the practice of breaking security regulations and laws. By granting credibility to the product of illegal activities, she provides “wink and a nod” expiation for the activities of Julian, and perhaps even more so, PFC Manning.
Someone is going to jail for a long, long time (if they’re lucky). And it won’t be Julian, and it won’t be Lynn.
Julian will continue his credulous, naive, childish behavior to suit his own self-serving purposes. If he had been around in 1862, and had an Internet to hide behind, he could have published the telegrams from the front that President Lincoln received. And there would still be Americans living in slavery. If he’d been around in 1942, and had an Internet to hide behind, he could have published the telegrams from the front that President Roosevelt received, and NATO would consist of Canada and the United States (and Australians would be speaking Japanese). Message to man-child Julian: when you are fighting great evil, bad things will happen. Just Google “Sherman’s march to the sea”, you diffident, dissipated little twit.
For PFC Manning, I have only sorrowful regret. If things turn out as I (and a lot of other people) suspect, you will spend the rest of your life in jail. Even if that life is a lot shorter than the actuarial tables would predict.
But for Lynn, I reserve nothing but contempt. You are an elected official of the United States Government. You have a position of trust and power, you have access to any information you desire. After the fiasco of your ill-advised editorial, I would not blame the Department of Defense for striking you from all access to defense information and sources. In fact, now that I think about it, DoD would be derelict if they didn’t limit your access in the wake of your giving authoritative citation to a “leak” source.
Lynn, you are not operating against the Establishment. You are the Establishment. It is incomprehensibly, stunningly inappropriate for you to act the rebel as you sit in your seat on the floor of the House and vote yourself a pay raise. Name someone else who gets to do that? Now remind me what you are so rebellious about? That’s right, Lynn, you have a huge void where your “suck it up” ought to be. You are a non-hacker, in the old fashioned meaning of the word: take the benefits but shirk the responsibility, leave the hard work to others.
Nothing else matters here, Lynn, except this. If I were a government official with classified information, and you asked for access to it, I would say, “No, Ma’am”. If you asked why, I would reply, “Because you have demonstrated a lack of discretion regarding classified information”. But hey, that’s just me, thank goodness for both of us that I’m not in that position.
G’night all, and may God continue to bless America!