Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thoughts On Wikileaks and Assange

My first reaction to the 'dumping' of secrets was negative.  I value my position as a tenth generation American with strong ties to and love for this nation.  (It is important to note that I said 'nation', not government.)
My eighth birthday was three weeks after Pearl Harbor so I lived impressionable years absorbing the struggles of World War II.  Slogans like 'Loose lips sink ships' were serious lessons learned.
I have a conservative personality.   As a teenager, one of my fictional heros was the title character of an historical novel by Kenneth Roberts:  Captain Caution.  Now that's not every American boy's cup of joe, is it?
No, I don't take such transgressions (dumping secrets) lightly.  However, recently I have been retracing the political history of American conservatism  in the years following World War II.  Such an enterprise always entails a number of interesting digressions when one reads a footnote here or encounters an obscure or little-known (for me) author there.
This reading shows a growing pattern of government secrecy, government overreach of power, and the beginnings of betrayal of what I consider the basic American value: liberty, or if you prefer, freedom.
From my point of view, the last sixteen years have left me feeling like a stranger in my own country.
We sanction countries resulting in the death of children.  We try to be the policeman of the world.  Over 4400 Americans have been killed in Iraq.   More than were killed in the World Trade Center.  Who is responsible for that?
Suddenly the government is the injured party.  I don't buy it.  Dump is a good word for what Wikileaks has done.  The government has been given a long overdue enema.
I like Ron Paul's assessment:  "In a society where truth becomes treason, we're in big trouble."


  1. Lincoln, I agree with you and Ron Paul, but not so sure it's all "truth". It is the truth as the ambassadors, politicians etc. see it. In a way, another propaganda tool for the US. When you read the classified info from the embassies it's interesting what they consider Secret/Classified and the "efforts" our government goes to in keeping us in the dark on so many things... much which is common knowledge and obviously already "leaked"... Robyn

  2. Robyn, I agree with your judgement. Many embassy documents are efforts to twist or manipulate the truth rather than express it. And much of what we have learned is, as you say, common knowledge to anyone who reads widely.
    Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I think it worth noting that this country's entry into WWI, WWII,the Korean War, and the Vietnam War all took place under Democratic administrations, none of which could be described as "conservative." Nor can the current administration, which has upped the ante in Afghanistan. I don't think many people would deny that our entry into WWII was unavoidable, given Pearl Harbor. As for Ron Paul, watching him during the Republican primary debates a couple of years ago, his isolationism -- which is how his foreign-policy positions struck me -- seemed more than a tad out of touch.

  5. Yes, Frank Wilson, the Republicans used to call the Democrats the party of war for the reasons you cite. Somewhere along the way (the fifties?) that changed and today we have a nation in a state of perpetual war. Both parties share that responsibility now.
    Further, I don't believe that there has been a truly conservative President in my lifetime.
    Ron Paul denies being isolationist. He calls himself a non-interventionist. I take him at his word.
    Thanks for your comments. I enjoy hearing from you.

  6. Oddly, the one who, at least regarding foreign policy, seems the most conservative now is Eisenhower (you and I were born only weeks apart). He made sure, for instance, that the US involvement in Vietnam remained purely advisory, and warned Kennedy against doing anything more than that.

  7. Oops, Frank Wilson, I believe you misread my post. I was born late December 1933. My eight birthday came about three weeks after Pearl Harbor.