While Bradley Manning certainly committed treason in releasing the diplomatic cables made famous by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks website, I’ve often been left scratching my head when listening to people speak of Assange himself.
More than once I’ve heard people express that he should be tried for treason. That would make sense if he were an American citizen, but considering he’s not, the Espionage Act is probably more likely. I find in general a lot of confusion regarding the law and concepts like due process.
In another instance I’ve heard many disgusted commentators regarding the Breivik sentence in Norway. They’re outraged that he was sentenced to a mere 21 years. They will then sometimes add that it can be extended indefinitely in five year increments. Even this seems to be unacceptable.
Norwegians believe that locking up people and throwing away the key is a pointless exercise. This is why the limit the sentencing. Breivik will never be released, but for them to come out and say that openly…is to defeat, to make a mockery of due process. It is to suggest bias which overthrows the concept of blind justice. I am shocked at the number of commentators, some who should know better, who can’t seem to grasp this. Whether you think the Norwegian system has merit or not, the commentary has been ignorant and misleading.
A lot of Christians seem to think lynching is the best thing to do. I’m thankful our society at least makes an attempt, or at least exhibits pretence of due process. It means that sometimes the ‘bad’ guys get away….but I’d rather see some guilty people escape human justice, than multitudes of innocent people incarcerated. Sadly we have plenty of that as well. It would be much worse if our courts operated the way many people in the public seem to wish.
Whether you agree with Assange or not is not really my point here. Personally I respect what he did,[i] and I think the ‘leaks’ showed the world what everyone already knew. The United States is two-faced and morally ambiguous. The ideologies of freedom and human rights are fictions employed when convenient to support a narrative. Behind the scenes the United States behaves as every other empire…with self-interest supported by conniving, manipulation and threat.
The Neo-Conservative and self-styled ‘Christian’ John R. Bolton has called for the execution of the WikiLeaks agents. He has explicitly stated that if found guilty Manning should be executed and that WikiLeaks should be designated a terrorist organization. Under several post-9/11 legal frameworks this would also mean that Assange could be targeted as a terrorist and executed by executive order.
The Republicans in Congress have also demanded investigations concerning the leaks coming out of the White House with regard to the Stuxnet virus and the covert cyberwar against Iran. They deemed these leaks to be politically motivated, an attempt by the Obama White House to garner support and credentials in the realm of geopolitics and what is often mistakenly labeled ‘Defense’.
Recently an ex-Navy SEAL has been all over the news regarding the impending release of his book which includes a description of the 2011 raid in Pakistan which killed Osama bin-Laden.
Apparently this account contradicts the official narrative released by the White House in the period shortly after the raid was announced.
One of the controversies surrounding this includes United States Department of Defense objections to the publication of the book. The Pentagon argues the author is in violation of non-disclosure agreements that all military personnel must sign when engaged in secret work.[ii]
The author did not submit his work to his Pentagon masters and they are concerned that he will be releasing information that has been deemed classified, data the public (supposedly for our own good) is banned from seeing.
The government might very well intervene and ban publication and possibly seize the books and destroy them.
As far as they’re concerned the SEAL is breaking the law and endangering the United States military and intelligence establishment.
Why are there no calls for this SEAL to be tried for treason? Where’s the outrage?
Suddenly the Christian Right-wing community has fallen silent. Obviously the revelations of the book (if contradicting the White House account) will prove embarrassing for President Obama. In fact it could even make him appear…deceitful.
Is it possible the Christian community wielding its Christian Worldview-applied-to-the-news has suddenly decided to put politics above truth?
They often invoke ‘worldview’ when discussing the ‘liberal’ media and how the media demonstrates their worldview by story-selection.
When the media does a human interest story on a homosexual high school student but opts to not cover a Christian businessman….this demonstrates their BIAS… in other words their worldview-based dishonesty and inherent tendency toward propaganda.
How is the Christian media/Commentariat any different? Aren’t they just as guilty?[iii]
I have a notion that if the Bin Laden raid had been carried out under the Bush administration…and a SEAL came forward like this with a book….the response would be very different.
The WikiLeaks cables reveal THE LIE that is the United States. Could it be that Sacralism works strong delusion in the minds and hearts of its adherents?
Do they also believe the lie, think themselves to be gods…making their own law in the name of power and self-preservation/advancement?
Perhaps Assange, Manning and the SEAL are all wrong and guilty of crimes….but, to suggest Assange and Manning are guilty, even worthy of death and the SEAL is innocent…demonstrates a disregarding of truth and a serious lack of integrity.[iv]
Their silence is deafening and very telling. In this case their silence brings yet another charge, another instance of taking the Lord’s Name in vain. They have called on God to bless their Babel but they worship an idol called Self.
[i] It was both a brave and moral act that promised a great deal of danger. I think it comparable to an event in 1989, when a lone figure in Tiananmen Square stood in front of a tank, risking his life so the world could see the truth.
If Assange ‘leaked’ a mountain of internal documents from Iran or China, the American public would praise his humanitarian courage. While Assange is certainly capable of committing the crimes he’s been charged with by the Swedes, it seems a little too convenient, a rather handy and very public way to discredit him and incarcerate (silence) him.
Nationalism creates its own moral code, it is a rejection of the Kingdom of God and the Law of Christ. It is spiritual and cosmic treason, it is a cancer within the Church.
In the Kingdom of Christ, apparently unknown to most who profess His Name…the truth is never treason.
[ii] While I thankfully was not a member of the Special Forces, even I working on an overseas flight line encountered these agreements. It was standard anytime we saw or participated in things we weren’t supposed to talk about. In my case these classified operations usually involved loading or unloading something from a cargo plane. And sometimes the pertinent issue considered where it was going. It was interesting for me to see some of these things. I knew that I was a nobody at a tiny backwater base and was only seeing a microcosm of what was happening worldwide.
[iii] Or do they excuse it in the name of worldview? Some seem to argue that everyone is biased because everyone has a worldview and therefore objectivity is not only a myth but something to be disregarded.
Pure objectivity is of course fictional. However, the protocols of journalism and history equip and inform competent people to seek and perhaps even find a significant degree of objectivity. While imperfect, I’m finding secular media sources to be far more credible, reliable, objective, and discerning than almost everything I encounter within Christian circles.
Christians seem to prefer propaganda in lieu of actual journalistic or historical reporting. Some of the most egregious examples of this occur on Christian radio. The Family Life Network and American Family Radio are lie factories and stand condemned.
[iv] Something we’ve learned to expect with the likes of John Bolton and other Christian Neo-conservatives.