Via the First Church of Mutterhals:
Just a short time ago many Americans had never heard of Julian Assange or Wikileaks. It’s understandable, this past summer was action packed with quality TV programming and most of us can’t be bothered to pay attention foreign goings on. But now you literally cannot flee news of Assange, a man who is quickly becoming a modern day folk hero for the disenfranchised and fed up.
While liberals argue whether or not Assange is a rapist and conservatives call for his head, the rest of us marvel that someone finally stood up and did something about the shitty state of the world that didn’t involve complaining about injustice on a blog or staging a meaningless protest only serving to garner the organizer some much needed attention. People like Assange and Bradley Manning and those involved in hacking Wikileaks opponents are heroes in the truest sense of the word; despite the very dire consequences they face for their actions they forge ahead, because it’s the right thing to do.
It may sound heartless and cruel, and it probably is, but I think the best thing that could happen would be for the US to try Manning and Assange for treason and sentence them to death. Not because I think either of these men are deserving of such a fate, but because this would be the thing that sets off actual change in the world. Not the team Obama brand change, nor the false promises of the tea party and their republican overlords, but an actual shift towards real freedom. Making them martyrs could possibly spur a movement of governments beholden to the people and not the other way around.
The Wikileaks saga also shows the divergence of opinion between young and old regarding what citizens should be allowed to know about their government. Most people my age and younger believe that everything should be out in the open and that transparency can only make us stronger and better informed. Most people older than me believe the government should operate in secret, only letting us know the bare minimum, and rarely even giving us the full, complete story on the little bit that they afford us.
It’s hard countering that argument only because this is how it’s been for so long. These people look at the government as some sort of benevolent god, always with his sons and daughters best interests at heart and operating under complete knowledge and ability. I look at governments the way I look at people; probably corrupt, definitely incompetent and with their own self interests front and center. Given that, the only thing keeping them honest is the will of the people.
This is what happens when the press stops doing its job, when most of the citizenry is uninterested in anything other than gossip and nonsense, and the least qualified candidates are afforded credibility. It was bound to happen, I just had no idea it would be this awesome to witness.
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