Maybe because he's from Australia, a U.S. satrap on the far rim of the American Empire, that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange doesn't know that Washington does not allow anyone to steal information unless it orders them to do so. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Obama hack who will not prosecute CIA thugs for torture and murder, says he is mounting a criminal investigation against Assange because anyone who breaks American law "will be held responsible." Prosecuting CIA Mafioso just doesn't excite Holder. Threatening Assange for releasing a quarter of a million of the Empire's secret files, does, especially since Assange did not alter or prettify them but released them in their unexpurgated state. Assange may or may not have raped a couple of Swedish ladies, as that spineless government suddenly needs to know, but there is no question he has disrobed the Statue of Liberty and shown all the world the prostitute she has become.
As for Bradley Manning, the Army PFC suspected of pilfering the evidence of Yankee cupidity and supplying it to Assange, he is being given free public housing in the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., on suspicion of previous disclosures of the Truth, and the Pentagon would love to throw away the key. Let him rot his life away in the company of the 2.5-million prisoners now overcrowding our vast penal colony for such insidious crimes as selling a joint. Manning's crime, as reported by AP, is: "I want people to see the truth...because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public." And with an attitude like that you can't go far in a country whose government is bent on controlling the planet and doesn't want its sinister operations revealed. For his part, Assange told The London Telegraph President Obama has a record of arresting whistle-blowers and that he runs "a regime that doesn't believe in the freedom of the press and doesn't act like it believes it."
Leading the charge against Assange is State Department boss Hillary Clinton, who said the release of the confidential files is "an attack on the international community," a comment which pretty much sums up her own conduct as revealed by WikiLeaks. It is Ms. Clinton, after all, who has been doing the attacking. She ordered her diplomats to spy on Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, as well as on the UN Security Council representatives from China, Russia, France, and UK; the UN undersecretaries, the heads of the UN specialized agencies; the heads of UN peace-keeping operations, and foreign officials apparently in a score of countries. As the UK Guardian reported Nov. 28 th , Washington wanted "credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and 'biographic and biometric information'..." It also wanted to know of any plans by UN officials "to press for potentially embarrassing investigations into the U.S. treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay," the Guardian said. So it has come to pass that the republic once cherished for birthing the ideals of individual liberty, including privacy, is now the world's spymaster, jailer, warmonger, torturer, and, yes, mass killer, the only nation that has used nuclear fire and which now threatens others with its use.
It is, FYI, illegal for the U.S. to bug the UN's phones as it did during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq to find out how other countries were voting. But while Obama and Clinton are outraged that their own correspondence has been made public, the U.S. National Security Agency has been tapping telephones the world over. Together with junior partners UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, the U.S. operates ECHELON, a global network of interception stations that eavesdrops on the whole blinking planet. "In multiple ways, each of the countries involved is breaking its own laws, those of other countries, and international law," Washington journalist William Blum writes in "Rogue State,"( Common Courage Press) noting that "the absence of court-issued warrants permitting surveillance of specific individuals is but one example" of ECHELON crimes. In Australia, Attorney General Robert McClelland has launched a probe to determine if WikiLeaks had broken any laws. In Congress, Senator Joseph Lieberman charged those responsible for the WikiLeaks disclosures have "blood on their hands," never mind that Lieberman is a strong advocate of the Middle East wars that have killed, by some accounts, more than a million souls. (Say it ain't so, Joe.)
In sum, it's apparently insufficient that the U.S. runs the greatest spy operation in history via 16 agencies that Walter Pincus of The Washington Post writes will cost taxpayers $80 billion this year. Ms. Clinton, like her predecessor Condoleezza Rice, ordered her payrollers to become spies as well. "Fingerprints and photographs are collected as part of embassies' consular and visa operations, but it is harder to see how diplomats could justify obtaining DNA samples and iris scans," the Guardian said. No it's not. In the brave new world run by the American Master Race, foreign diplomats are supplicants, not equals, who can be subjected to any humiliation. And so, (surprise!) can the American people. Their bodies are now subject to X-raying and physical groping at airports. Their telephones, faxes, and E-mails are being read. Their bank accounts and credit cards are being monitored. Americans are being arrested and prosecuted for exercising their Constitutional right to protest at a Republican Convention or at a trade conference. Their taxes are being stolen big-time to bail out private bankers. Their children are being ordered to fight wars of aggression based on the kinds of lies WikiLeaks at least has the courage to reveal and Ms. Clinton seeks to conceal. In short, don't look to America for freedom any more. It is locked up in a Quantico brig with PFC Bradley Manning. #
(Sherwood Ross formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and worked as a wire service columnist.)