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Re: The persecution of Julian Assange Jonathan Cook
Excellent summary of what looks like a vital book. Felt like the sort of expose that should be on all the 'hard hitting' TV programs like Panorama, Dispatches etc. but of course it never will be, unless some eager beaver decides to look into it as a curiosity 50 years from now when it doesn't matter any more... The whole affair reveals so much about the rotten underbelly of western societies, where nothing has really changed since medieval times when it comes to burning heretics and torturing political dissidents to death. If Assange was a Russian dissident during the (first) cold war then he could rely on an escape to the west and a ready ear for all he had to reveal about the Enemy regime. With the US dominating the globe in so many key ways where can dissidents run to? Who will listen to them or give them a platform? (Ok, Snowden went to Russia, but as Cook points out Assange & Wikileaks' consistency of revealing the crimes of all states likely precluded that option.) It really grinds to dust the idea that we live in free democracies totally different to the totalitarian dictatorships of the past or of Official Enemies.
And yet well-meaning activists still insist that the institutions of the state can be made to work towards beneficial ends. Bollocks. If your work is truly effective they will come for you and muster everything in their power to destroy you. You will see their true face and there will be no use pretending otherwise. I think people probably instinctively avoid learning too much about the Assange case because subconsciously they realise it will rid them of too many comfortable illusions and leave them with only stark options of full-scale resistance or total compliance & absorption by the all-consuming System. As the article suggests, this is exactly how the Good Germans enabled the rise of nazism: ignore the abuses, mock or monster the victim, side with the aggressor and their paper thin rationalisations, attack anyone who suggests there has been an injustice, smother everything with targeted silence... It's a bad road to go down, and there's a LOT worse to come if we don't find a way to reverse course.
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