Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thoughts on Coverage of Assange's Predicament

During Julian Assange's most recent visit to the United Kingdom, he has been arrested, and is currently being held without bail. He has visited that country many times. The last images of him show cops all over the place.

On my last visit to the UK, there were cops all over the place at my big concert, carefully tending the three demonstrations outside of the concert hall where my objectionable music was being played. At an earlier visit there, my family watched the London cops carefully tend demonstrations outside the houses of Parliament, as people demonstrated over the impending release from detainment of former Chilean dictator August Pinochet.

The police in the UK are among the most professional law enforcement officers in the world, so I'm hoping Assange is being treated with the same dedication to duty I've witnessed there myself.

Among the awards Assange has received for the important work he is doing that forces governments worldwide to be held accountable for their crimes and misdemeanors, was the 2009 Amnesty International UK Media Award, for his exposé of extra-judicial murders of young men in Kenya by the police, as portrayed in his organization's documentary, Kenya: The Cry of Blood - Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances.

Just this week, the American media is failing to digest the importance of one of the most recent releases from WikiLeaks on human rights abuses, as lamestream media reporters fawn over one another, painting Assange as something far less than what he is. The Houston Press got it right, in their headline on this:
WikiLeaks: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops
Go read it. This is the kind of story Sarah Palin thinks it is "treason" to expose to the public. I doubt she could figure out how to tweet "exposé."

Watching what is going down right now regarding Assange reminds me of the five years between the growth of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the first inklings of a democracy movement in China, and the downfall of the USSR and the communist Warsaw Pact paradigm. Hundreds of people more like Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel and that brave little Beijing student who stood up in front of the tanks and got mowed down, than they are like creeps such as Palin, are ready to protest the growing secretive powers of governments, the ultra-rich, and multi-national corporations. And the Sarah Palins of the world are ready to gun down this new generation, as if they are so many caribou.

Here is Julian Assange, accepting his 2009 Amnesty International award in Oslo:

And here is Lech Walesa, who was honored at the same forum in both 2009 and 2010, speaking about how our country's moral leadership is rapidly declining under the Obama administration:


Aussie Blue Sky said...

Lech Walensa was NOT "speaking about how our country's moral leadership is rapidly declining under the Obama administration" at all. He was saying that historically the US was viewed as something that it clearly isn't any more.

Speaking from the other side of the world, I can assure you that the view of the US from outside has only improved since the election of Obama. Perhaps if the Americans hadn't trashed the world economy the US might have made some real progress towards regaining the respect it had prior to Bush II.

Albert Lewis said...

"lamestream media"? Isn't that a Palinism? I refudiate the use of Sarah's demeaning and debased language!

Philip Munger said...


What makes you think she didn't steal the term?

Philip Munger said...

Aussie Blue Sky,

Obama's claims to have charted a new course may hold true in some areas, but not at all in the realm of the rapidly expanding powers of our "National Security State." What Walesa and others struggled to overcome was a tyranny more fearsome, less powerful than what Assange and I fight against.