Hi folks. I hope your summer, though winding down, is going well. I saw the headline of an article that I thought had some interesting potential .The title held the promising prospect of an endorsement of Julian Assange and Wikileaks dump of Democratic Party emails. But being reported by FoxNews, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when the story drifted off topic, thus failing to deliver on the promise of its banner.
On the other hand, I thought I might run with the premise, because like the Edward Snowden saga which alternately portrayed Snowden as either patriot or pariah, few people have chosen to characterize the Swedish exile in London’s Ecuadoran embassy as heroic heretofore – if only briefly and obliquely.
The article is more a not so much a veiled swipe at the ’’establishment” Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, than it is a tribute to Julian Assange. Jill Stein, the standard-bearer of the wannabe third-party in America tries to stir the pot in her dim praise of Assange for exposing Democratic Party deviousness in the primary campaign against Clinton rival Bernie Sanders.
She is obviously trolling the waters for disaffected Sanders supporters looking to find a home, with a view to garnering five per-cent of the vote come November that would ensure their validation as a bona fide third party in America. If this is her aim, she risks tuning them out when she later cast Sanders as being cut from the same cloth after serving decades in Washington.
WikiLeaks email revelations cast the DNC as being pro-Clinton in its conduct, to Sander’s detriment, in the run-up to and during the unfolding of the campaign. The leaks came, embarrassingly for the pro-Clinton camp, on the eve of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. The DNC quickly rushed to associate the hack as a Russian operation fueled by Putin’s love for Donald Trump, and attempted to sully Trump’ reputation by inferring he was ’’in bed” with Putin and the Russians.
Hillary Clinton is never one to miss the opportunity to decry a good conspiracy when it can deflect unpleasant attention from her and her deeds. Sofor good measure, Assange was vilified as a cowering criminal-in-exile, bent on sowing seeds of disruption, rather than someone looking to expose the truth.
So even though Jill Stein is manipulating events and co-opting Assange to score political points, and the storyline was thin, I thought it might be a good exercise to examine Assange and Wikileaks under the same prism as people dissected the Snowden debacle now three years old. Did WkliLeaks do a public service or commit a crime? I guess the answer really depends on how it came into possession the emails. Was it, in fact, the result of a Russian government-sponsored hack? And if so, did it rise above the usual skullduggery of government spying on a country’s internal affairs (as Stein suggests)? You, the reader, can be the judge.
The one thing that is clear is that any characterization of this leak (or Snowden’s) leaks is subjective. It is based on one’s perception of what transparency in government should entail, and it competes with the public’s right to know, along with government’s argument that the public doesn’t have that right to know. Oh, it’s perfectly okay for the government to spy on individuals and collect their data with impunity. But perish the thought that the public should get a glimpse of what is really going on in the government behind the scenes!
“The Green Party bringing in Julian Assange is an attempt to further brand themselves as an alternative to Hillary Clinton in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ loss and the leaked DNC emails,” Jared Yates Sexton, a professor at Georgia Southern University and political contributor to The New Republic and New York Times, told Foxnews.com. For their part, Stein characterizes her embracing of Assange’s role as consistent with her party’s stance on civil liberties and government transparency.
With this point having been hammered home, the article devolves into a typical third-party rant into the excesses of government, and painted both Clinton and Sanders as being complicit in the narrative of government being a bunch of clandestine, war-loving imperialists. So in this sense, it is a disappointing distraction from the promise of a genuine dialogue about the merits of people like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks. About the impact of their actions, and the price they are paying for them.