Friday, March 18, 2011

The greatest threat to America from terrorism lately is WikiLeaks and his founder, Julian Assange. All politicians hate him from Newt Gingrich to Sara Palin. It makes you wonder who exactly has been terrorized? The repeated accusation that the leaked information has endangered the lives of Americans remains unsupported by a single piece of evidence or even a single specific example.
It is true that neither WikiLeaks nor Assange is pristine. Among other of his questionable actions, Assange faces charges of sexual abuse in Sweden. However, many of the classified documents seem to have been released for little more purpose than to suggest the hypocrisy of the American government which is not new news to the average American citizen. Not that all government secrets should be exposed. Isn’t that why we have the CIA and the FBI to protect our secrets?
If these documents and the information they contain begin to arouse the American people to strenuously object to the baloney that we’ve been receiving from official sources about our progress in Afghanistan and our strong allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, we will perhaps speed us to the swift return of American troops from harms way to the United States- thus making troops not more vulnerable, but in fact safer.
The documents may also serve to reduce our involvement with corrupt autocrats such as Karzai in Afghanistan and the self-exiled Ben Ali in Tunisia. Through WikiLeaks we learned that in July 2009 the American ambassador in Tunisia, Robert F. Godec dined at the beach front mansion of a member of Tunisia’s ruling El Materi family while our troops are being dismembered fighting these guys.
Ambassador Godec noted that the home displayed Roman columns, frescoes, and a live caged tiger on the grounds that “consumes four chickens a day.” The people of that country are starving while the rich leaders are living lavishly. Our own corrupt leaders are in bed with these guys while many Americans don’t dine on 4 chickens a day. The tiger, Godec noted in the secret cable to Washington, reminded him “of Uday Hussein’s lion cage in Baghdad.” Yes, this American ambassador spends his time touring all the rich corrupt leaders in their lavish surroundings accomplishing nothing for the good of most people in any country.
Thank you Julian Assange and WiliLeaks for having the courage to print what is really going on among the world leaders in their own words. No wonder the government is quick to condemn him. They have the physical power. Words have power too.
Although they are barbaric in their protests, Egyptians are showing that supporting democracy in Arab societies may be a strategy that takes time and involves risks- but that it is a strategy that is in harmony with American principles- and if pursued in the usually measured and thoughtful words and actions of President Obama. It can be a winning strategy. WikiLeaks evidence of corrupt leaders combined with Obama’s inspirational speaches have helped Arab countries to feel it is the right time to throw the bums out that are living excessively and starving the very people they are supposed to be serving.

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