19 August, 2012

Julian Assange

There is something which not many people understand about Mr. Assange; that he is not, in fact, important. He is, however, very good at persuading the weak minded, which includes the government of the United Kingdom, that he is.

Now he has been allowed to make a public statement from the balcony of his refuge, an unfortunate habit of Mussolini in his years in power.

"We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America.
"Will it return to and re-affirm the revolutionary values it was founded on?
"Or will it lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark."

How they cheered! Self-important twerp.

As it happens, I am very much in favour of knowing more about how we are governed and Wikileaks has played a (very) small part in that: it showed us, for example, that the US thinks Mr. Cameron is lightweight, not real news. But I don't call this free speech. I call it receiving and passing on stolen property. Because however daft the Americans are to assert their rights over information they had themselves passed to 3 million people (one fifth the population of Ecuador), stolen was what it was.

Britain needs to deflate Mr. Assange by telling the Swedes it has done its best and withdrawing the police force (costing £50,000 a day), the Prime Minister telling the world to lighten up.

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A BELATED RESPONSE: Prompted by US Navy SEAL 'revelations' of more incompetence & misdeeds!

The Navy SEAL might face military courts-martial, despite evidence that what he wrote had already been 'leaked' to news media, by anonymous Obama White House Staff!

Recently, travails of ASSSANGE's love for unfettered media freedom. Lessons have been soon forgotten from 'The Pentagon Papers'.

Daniel Ellsberg's duty was to research then write a history of American slow slides into war commitments: In FIVE Presidents; all were World War Two vets = "AMERICA'S greatest generation"!

LORD ACTON once warned: "Absolute power corrupts - absolutely"! It was hidden by document over-classification, lest taxpayers realize such 'fraud, waste & abuse' during "UN-NECESSARY WARS"!

A 'WW-Deuce' group which returning Vietnam vets met on 'homecomings' & from which we are still attempting to recover, some five decades later!

Simply put = WW-Two vets DID NOT WANT 'Vietnam boys' to have any access "to their piece" of the Federal largess of benefits!

Today an American President reminds un-knowing: "I increased dramatically the VA budget". But unstated is a stark reality: That money goes toward new buildings for a 'declining & aging veterans demographic'! NOT FOR a GREATER NEED = Timely processing of vets' filed benefits claims now taking 4.4 years or even longer!

U.S. veterans "sued the VA" for already funded & authorized benefits since 1951 'Korean police action'. Then a US Attorney General & VA Secretary reneged on verbal promises to 'accelerate processing times' to only 120 by December, 2011'.

In 'a perfect world' -long absent- most veterans live under a sacred oath to "take care of our own" and "leave no one, on any battle fields" - a lesson from Civil War years, with those horrific fights at both Antietam & Gettysburg, too.

NOT SO with the WW-TWO "homies" - whose unflagging 'modus operandi' has been & remains to the day: "
I've got mine; screw all others "!

WITH MY VERY OWN EARS, I too have heard such callous words uttered, only to walk away in real disgust - rather than send a well deserved poke in the snout to that offender!

IT HAS NOT BEEN NICE nor PRETTY, during an interim it must be noted!

* * * *

WE Vietnam Vets did our noble best to 'make their way easier' for our returning brothers & also sisters from Iraq, Afghanistan & even the Pakistan fluid battle fields.

IS IT ANY WONDER, then, that The Pentagon has only now 'become [belatedly] alarmed' at high rates of suicide by U.S. ACTIVE DUTY ground troops? It took "USA Today" headlines to focus their close attention, after such 'bad press'!

At least The Brits 'de-compress' returning combat arms - as units - on Cyprus, before 'home-comings'! This small detail and its wisdom currently escape civilian and even uniformed officer/non-com leaderships among American forces!

Sir Richard Dannatt or even the Archbishop of Canterbury / Dr. Rowan Williams rightfully are appalled -- This is NOT WHAT each nor either man had condoned nor expected in books with titles now called: (a) "LEADING FROM the FRONT" & (b) "FAITH in the PUBLIC SQUARE" - not yet available from American book sellers, nor even from 'Amazon.com'!

Where the VA failed us all - under far too many presidents: WOUNDED WARRIORS and spontaneous 'kits for vets' - from volunteers - then rose to the challenges, in timely fashions!

WE STILL muddle through, reminding ourselves that even at the height of 'The Blitz' itself: A BRITISH KING and his Prime Minister stood tall, as reminders to "STAY CALM and CARRY ON"!

So, indeed, we shall do precisely that! So long as is needed! -30-