Assange Is Us

Ilana Mercer, December 10, 2010

Judge Andrew Napolitano, the anchor of Fox Business’ “Freedom Watch,” has expressed his doubts as to whether Army soldier Pfc. Bradley Manning could have single-handedly gained access to, and released to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, close to a million classified documents, among which are military field reports about Afghanistan and Iraq.

I disagree. The military is government. The military works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government, chief of which is its liberalism. Like the government, the military is freighted with pathological political correctness. Its recruits are often a product of a selection process aimed at group affirmation.

Every time I turn around, the generals and the political planners at the Pentagon are holding workshops on how to make the military hospitable to homosexuals — having already worked mightily to ensure that the ranks have been thoroughly feminized, and that the fraternizing that accompanies a coed Army is generously accommodated. Why, just the other day, a top official in the Defense Department went weak at the knees over the Dream Act. This bipartisan amnesty effort for the kids of illegal aliens; a “multi-billion-dollar illegal alien student bailout,” was deemed by Clifford Stanley, the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, as “an obvious way to attract more high-quality recruits to the armed forces.” The report featured images of low-quality, sneering Hispanic student demonstrators, whose hate-filled faces made the mug of the Jihadi who committed fratricide at Fort Hood look sweet by comparison; and “Bradass87” (Manning’s email handle), positively cherubic.

Oddly enough, after softening educational and other requirements for military recruits, the top brass seem surprised when their sub-standard enlistees are incapable of abiding by a code of secrecy, a contract; or, conversely, cannot refrain from killing colleagues (as in the case of the aforementioned Major Nidal Malik Hasan).

One can’t expect members of a liberal organization—in structure and philosophy— to adhere to strict codes of conduct. Liberalism is about license and lenience. Disciplined, buttoned-up soldiers are bound to become an anomaly among America’s progressive fighting forces.

The law, understandably, is not on Manning’s side. This military malfeasant will, in all likelihood, face court martial. What is top-secret to some, however, is open-source for others. First-Amendment jurisprudence is just as clear-cut with respect to the great guerrilla journalism of WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks operators have committed no crime in publishing what is undeniably true, newsworthy information. Antsy America has no jurisdiction over a foreign entity (WikiLeaks) and its proprietor (Julian Assange).

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog confirmed that US law looks upon WikiLeaks as “a passive recipient of the material.” “Most First Amendment lawyers would say that preventing the publication of material is justified only where absolutely necessary to prevent almost immediate and imminent disaster. It’s an extremely high standard,” Jack Balkin, a First Amendment expert at Yale Law, told the WSJ.

Nevertheless, Attorney General Eric Holder is hounding Assange, and has been conducting “an active, ongoing criminal investigation,” tracked by Wikipedia. Holder is even contemplating charging this foreign national under the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act, which “prohibited any attempt to interfere with military operations, to support America’s enemies during wartime, to promote insubordination in the military, or to interfere with military recruitment.” (Recall, Bush by his lonesome declared the unconstitutional wars currently being prosecuted by Obama.)

Still, the Republicans and their Fox News phalanx are unhappy with Holder’s efforts, so far, to stifle the free-flow of information. John Ensign, a member of one of this country’s atrophied deliberative bodies, told Judge Napolitano that he and Senators Scott Brown and Joe Lieberman would be sponsoring a Bill to allow the Federal government “to crack down on websites and other publications that print the names of US military informants.” Clearly, Republicans would sooner sic the state on private citizens than deal with the military’s manifest inadequacies (and size).

A pumped-up Assange told the New Yorker in June that “a social movement to expose secrets could bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality — including the US administration.” He has vowed to skewer “lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil.” Sounds good to me.

What doesn’t sound so good is the collectivist impulse among so many of freedom’s so-called defenders to condemn a man who took a great personal risk so as to expose the workings of the U.S. Empire. Why has this individual become the enemy? Should Americans not have an inkling, by now, of what it’s like to live at the mercy of the federal government’s imperially imposed edicts? Aren’t we all being treated as potential terrorists at the nation’s federally controlled airports, by the TSA, an arm of the government now stalking Assange?

Fox News led its reports on the latest leaked documents with headlines calling to “designate WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seconded the sentiment: “The Leaks tear at the fabric of government,” she lamented.

Good. The “fabric” of such a government must be torn and shorn.

©2010 By ILANA MERCER & Quarterly Review, Winter 2010 issue (Vol 4 No 4)
December 10

CATEGORIES: Free speech, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Military, Republicans, Technology