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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/15/10

This One Is For You Julian

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   8 comments
Message Doug Soderstrom

Julian Assange was taken into custody by the Brits last week as a result of his having been charged with sex crimes (the rape of two women) in Sweden. No one except the two women in question and Julian himself knows for sure what actually happened. And even then, memory, motive, and the unconscious combine to obscure matters even more.

However, there is every reason to believe that what the Swedes are saying is simply not true, since all the evidence points towards an intervention by the United States government so they can bring him back to the United States where he can be prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act of 1917.

One must ask the question: "What did Julian do that was so terribly wrong?" And the answer, of course, is nothing at all. His only crime, which was no crime at all, was to gather up information that was sent to him, delete sensitive data (names, etc.) so that no one would be harmed, and then forward the information to newspapers such as The New York Times, Der Spiegel (Germany), The Guardian (of London), El Pais (Spain), and Le Monde (France) in order that the information might be spread around the world for others to read. He simply wanted to let others know the truth about what has been going on, what nefarious governments around the world, rich corporations, and powerful people have been saying and doing.

And, of course, as a truth-teller, he has had little choice but to do such a thing, since the media (television and newspapers) in the United States has long since lost its soul by having sold itself out to the highest bidder -- the military-industrial complex -- large fascist-like corporations working together with the government. As a result, we (especially those of us in the United States) discovered that they have been lying to us. The officials of the United States government have been saying and doing one thing in public, while saying and doing another (often the exact opposite) behind our backs, exposing many of them as hypocrites, if not criminals.

So what have we learned from WikiLeaks? More than anything, it has become abundantly clear that our country has been run by a bunch of thugs! A bunch of selfish, greedy, money-oriented, power-hungry, political animals that, for the most part, do not give a rat's damn about the average man or woman on the street, or for that matter anyone else in the world, unless, of course, they happen to stumble upon a dictator who might perhaps have something they feel they need, like a strategic piece of land for another well-placed military base.

The economic downturn, such as the housing crisis, etc., was foreseen by several pundits. However, those at the top -- some on The Hill and others in lavishly decorated offices on Wall Street -- made sure that almost none of them got any press, so no one found out what these few knew, and for good reason since those at the top knew what was about to happen. And these scoundrels didn't lift a finger to stop the blood-letting that occurred, an economic bloodbath that enabled numerous executives to profit handsomely, raking in billions at the expense of millions of Americans on Main Street who have ended up in long, long lines, desperate men and women humbled and begging for second class (minimum wage) jobs!

So here we are. Crooks at the top; some in the executive office, some in the Senate, some in the House, others spread out all over The Hill, along with an over-abundance of CEOs sitting in plush office buildings on Wall Street, all of them licking their chops impatiently waiting to get their hands on Julian Assange. Some, including a few journalists, have even called for the death penalty, perhaps even wanting to kill him themselves. Christian men in the name of God crying out for revenge. Christian men ready and willing to cast "the first stone," red in tooth and claw, clamoring to be unleashed in order to "judge lest they be judged."

But then again, wasn't it Jesus who recommended that it might perhaps be in our best interest to search for the "truth" with all our heart, mind, and soul, promising it would set us free (and as a rather nice consequence enable us to be an integral part of His Kingdom). Well, in looking at the life of Julian Assange, I am convinced that he is a model, an example of how one ought to live his life if he wants to know the truth. Of course, such would exclude rape, if he in fact did such a thing, but let's hope that he did not do what he has been accused of doing.

In giving the world The Video: Collateral Murder; War Diary: Afghanistan War Logs; War Diary: Iraq War Logs; and Cablegate: 250,000 US Diplomatic Cables; Assange has proven himself to be a man of virtue, a man in search of the truth. And just like Martin Luther King, Jr., who found himself in a Birmingham jail, Assange, having been arrested by British authorities has, in large part, been set free. For as men of pure heart have always known, it is not bars that constrains a man, but an unwillingness to follow his conscience. And if such is a fair test of a man's character, I dare say there are many walking the streets today who have imprisoned themselves as a result of how they have chosen to live their lives.

No matter what Assange does or doesn't do for the rest of his life, there can be no doubt that he has served the world well. For following his conscience; for living his dream, Assange will always be free. Because freedom is a spiritual matter that has nothing to do with one's body, where it can or cannot go, but rather upon who one has chosen to be as a human being. Assange, like Lewis and Clark, has courageously forged the way, expanding the frontier for all of us. Perhaps by changing the rules, transforming the playing field, forcing those in power to face the fact that they have a constitutional, a transnational, a humane, a human responsibility to protect freedom of expression, our First Amendment Rights, in what will soon be an ever-increasing battlefield of change for ever more freedom for the people of the world. And for those countries that cannot, or choose not to tolerate such freedom -- including the United States of America -- I say, let's hold them accountable, bring them down if need be.

Perhaps in the long run the real fight will not be between the various "isms" of the world. It will be between those who are open-minded and searching for the truth versus those who are closed-minded and apparently not interested. It will be between the haves and have-nots -- between those who see themselves as citizens of the world versus those who look upon themselves more provincially (as citizens of a particular country).

Clear battle lines cannot always be drawn as there will always be a bit of, even a lot of, gray. But one thing is for sure, those who really want to know which side they're on should consider this rather simple question: In order to maintain your integrity as a human being (maintain a clear conscience, keep from violating your most cherished values) would you be willing to be imprisoned, forfeit your citizenship, endure the loss of your friends, have your job (your career) taken from you, be willing to have your property (your wealth) confiscated by the government, and/or, if necessary, sacrifice your life for what you believe in? If not, then perhaps they are not interested in wanting to know the truth. As Jesus (Matthew 16:26) once said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?" However, there can be little doubt as to whose side Julian Assange is on since he passed the test with flying colors, with the exception of perhaps the last part, but we will see, since the United States may attempt to give Julian the death penalty. I hope not, since he certainly does not deserve to die. In fact, if I had my way, he would be given a Congressional Medal of Honor for having had the courage to challenge officials of the world's greatest military power and make them look like a bunch of fools!

It is not just Julian Assange who is behind bars. On December 21, 2010 the FCC will vote on rules that may well destroy the Internet as we now know it. It looks like the media moguls have gathered their forces and tightened the screws on FCC chairman Julius Genachowski to make sure that a "two-tiered" net neutrality bill will be passed. If such a vote is approved we, as Americans (at least those of us who use the Internet), might as well say goodbye to Internet freedom, because from that point on we will likely be behind bars in that we will have lost one of the "last great freedoms."

From that point on we will no longer with just the touch of a finger be able to access information as we did before. Information will be in two tiers. One in which it will take so long, be so terribly difficult to gain access to the Internet that most will either give up using it altogether or be forced to choose the alternative which will be controlled by media moguls. This service will likely be far too expensive and will be controlled in the same manner as ABC Evening News, NBC Evening News, and CBS Evening News control information -- edit out that which those who pay the bills don't want in. We will soon get to the point that we will end up knowing nothing at all, at least as far as the truth is concerned.

Either way, we will end up losing what has been a wellspring of knowledge, a treasure trove of information, countless opportunities to learn anew, an opportunity to challenge what we were once taught (what we once believed to be the truth), something I daresay that our government (regardless of which party is in control) does not want us to question. With changes that are about to take place in the Internet, along with what may well be a ferocious response by the United States government to Assange's document leak. Already we are seeing the beginning of such control. The State Department ordered its employees not to look at the information in question, not even on their home computers. College students at Columbia University, etc. are threatened with an inability to obtain government jobs if it can be proven that they even "peeked" at the information.

Sounds a little bit like the beginning of a police state doesn't it? I can assure you that things will never be the same. Many of us, at least some of us anyway, value the right to think for ourselves, to ask tough questions, and to have the constitutional right, to bring them down if they get "too big for their britches." However, there are far too many who, like sheep, have allowed themselves to have been fed mush (patriotic pie) and, when the time comes, they will be standing in long lines, with smiles on their faces, ready and willing to be slaughtered -- all in the name of God and their country!

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Doug Soderstrom is a retired Professor of Psychology having taught for forty-two years at the college level. He was a columnist for the Populist Party of America ( discontinued) and has been a feature writer for (more...)

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