02 September 2012

Assange, Breivik, a SEAL, and Wicked Hypocrisy

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.


Jim Wetzel said...

Not related to the content of this post, but something you may not be aware of: your end-note marks (such as "[iii]") are links to a draft file that no one except yourself is able to view. I'm guessing that when you click on one, you see your endnote because that file is recognized as yours; but your readers in general out here just have to scroll down to the bottom to see them. No big deal -- just thought you might not be aware of it.

Protoprotestant said...

Ah that's interesting. No if I'm logged off, and I click on those it takes me to the sign-in page. Is that what it did for you? It doesn't let you into my password-protected zone does it? Am I compromised?

I meant for them to be endnotes...not linked endnotes.

But for some reason when I copy-paste from Word it recognized them as links. I can fix that in the future.

Thanks for the heads up.

Eliyahu BenYsrael said...

Yes, the secular media actually does do a reasonable job, at least most of the time, (with plenty of exceptions) in obtaining some degree of objectivity in reporting nuance and detail; cause and effect which can change our perceptions of a story and our reactions to it, and often, the story itself. I'm ashamed to admit that the Christian media truly tends to be one sided and propaganda like in it's over simplistic approach to issues, yet Christians don't complain or criticize it at all, because they agree with it and apparently don't find the nuances important or convenient.
Constantinianism has been such a snare of sin for the church for the last 17 centuries it's not even mentioned because it's not perceived-like the matrix we've been born into. Instead, just pound on lack of prayer in schools, gay marriage, abortion and liberals and your (conservative) politically correct sermon will bring people to their feet.

What can be done about this?

Protoprotestant said...

Once again I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge this and the other comments. I've not really been online the last couple of months. I don't miss the cyber-world per se, but I sure miss being able to write.

As usual I totally agree with you. I find that when I speak critically of Christian media and specifically 'news' to other Christians they seem baffled. Frankly I can't really think of anyone I've talked to that seemed to perk up and immediately identify with what I'm talking about.

In fact on a spiritual level I must say what the Christian 'news' outlets are doing is something worse than just a bad job... it is propaganda and for a very heretical and often blatantly evil cause.

In my area we have access to American Family Radio and the Family Life Network. Awful, shameful organizations and it's hard not to grind your teeth when they speak of what they do in terms of ministry. FLN is probably more inept and incompetent, AFR is just plain duplicitious and diabolical.

Constantinianism runs so deep that even I am often still surprised at where I find it hiding. It's in the larger culture, but once your eyes are open....wow, I just see it clouding the thinking and framing of almost every discussion. Today I was listening to an interview on the Cold War... it was rubbish and all viewed through a Constantinian lens.

American Exceptionalism? What's that? It means different things to different people and can be viewed through a Deistic lens but for most it involves some kind of vague Constantinian construct. That's another effect the 'Shift' has wrought....watered down theology, the cultural/civilizational category opens up a whole new world of theological categories, terms, and certainly dogma.

They're often getting the history wrong, or oversimplifying it but the real problem is theological.

Blessings. Your comments are always an encouragement.