To my surprise, I got into it hot and heavy with some Republicans who seriously believe that Bradley Manning is a traitor who should be hanged.
First I asked to disagree, because they all opposed me. Then I said that people always resist the most crucial changes that are not only inevitable for the advancement of culture but also salutary and greatly needed.
With Julian Assange's people finding out and publicizing what, for example, the Department of State really thinks of a given government or system or ruler or prime minister, chagrin and embarrassment follow, and certain minor needed amenities are carried out; however, in the long run, it may be in the best interest of all concerned to tell the truth to all concerned. What will this lead to? The transparency candidates in this country always promise and never deliver. Truth and honesty will instead become a reality at the global level.
Now time will tell whether this outcome is salutary or not. There is Jesus' treasured axiom that we "shall know the truth and the truth will make [us] free"; Voltaire, on the other hand, said that it is necessary first to tell the truth and then immolate oneself. Harvard University's motto is "Veritas," "truth." Is that an appeal to authority?
Speaking of appeals to authority, I mentioned to my "opponents" that Daniel Ellsberg has identified his expose of the Pentagon Papers with the activities of Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. He often is hauled off to the slammer for forms of civil disobedience.
Leaking the hideous jaws of certain truths is dangerous. Executors of torture, once reported to the world, will claim that they are obtaining truths the only way that they can. But if an innocent Arab, for example, tells the truth in such a setting, torture continues because such victims are considered incapable of telling the truth.
Bradley Manning is one such "Arab" being tortured for telling the truth. Yet we deride and abhore those who concealed the truth and did nothing while the Nazis were committing hideous genocide and hideous torture.
Can we have it both ways? Can "Thou shalt not lie" become the Eleventh Commandment and "Thou shalt not torture" become the Twelfth? Obliging people, even politicians and government officials, to tell the truth and eliminate torture from their portfolio of solutions may improve our culture and truly justify the rather ambiguous description of this culture as "civilization."
The deification of Lady Gaga and others like her, along with their daily activities, may then be relegated to what is left of the "fourth wing of our government," now colored yellow, and entities like Wikileaks take over as the people's chosen news medium.
As I've said before, give truth a chance, at every level. I would venture to add that culture as we know it has tried everything else but that.