By Patrick Lagacé
Julian Assange has some tricks up his sleeve. What a mouth! The Australian really does fit the part of the role of the mysterious computer genius that came from afar. Imagine if he resembled Raymond Bachand; I am convinced, for reasons difficult to explain, that he wouldn’t be as hated. It’s hard — very hard — to hate the branch manager of Canada Post in Malartic. It is easier to hate the hyper-photogenic DJ…
Assange is enigmatic, blond and pathologically incapable of smiling from behind his tinted glasses. We would imagine him to appear alongside James Bond in the role of…of…
Incidentally, as the hero or the villain?
And what if he was neither the one nor the other?
And what if the question of whether Julian Assange is a hero or a traitor is, in the end, unimportant?
It could be unimportant because Assange is but the face of a network, WikiLeaks, which is itself the face of a phenomenon impossible to stop. I mean the rise of these opposing forces based on the Internet, faceless and homeless.
Take Anonymous, another network of computer hackers that, a few years ago, began relentlessly terrorizing the Church of Scientology by waging a digital war.
Like WikiLeaks, the documents unearthed by Anonymous were of indisputable public interest. They contradicted a certain “official” version, putting holes in the smooth narrative framework — which was smooth, smooth like a Disney tale.
Unlike WikiLeaks, Anonymous has no symbolic side.
Perhaps it is better like that.
What makes American, French, British and Canadian officials outraged is fear. The fear that, from now on, their press releases full of lies could be, thanks to the information copied on a Lady Gaga compact disc, contradicted and exposed for what they are — press releases full of lies.
This explains the stratospheric level of hysteria that surrounds the response of the West regarding Assange and WikiLeaks.
In the United States, prominent politicians — namely Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, two former candidates for the White House — have hoped, more or less openly, for the assassination of Julian Assange. Here in Canada, Tom Flanagan, Stephen Harper’s former advisor, wished the same thing, which was more or less a joke. Journalists, too, hoped for the neutralization of Assange.
I would like to emphasize that the Chinese government has never, publicly, wished the death of another “traitor” — the Dalai-Lama! I would love to be contradicted on that…
I don’t bring up China pointlessly. The institutional response of the West to the “threat” of WikiLeaks is akin to the same paranoia of the Chinese Politburo regarding the dissident bloggers who are calling for a little transparency.
Sorry, but it is hard to believe that MasterCard, Amazon, PayPal and PostFinance have suddenly developed scruples against a client who “didn’t respect the conditions of use” of their services … If you believe that, you perhaps believe that Donna Lacroix’s ghost show on TVA is real. It is clear that these private companies acted under the pressure of the paranoid states.
(As an aside, regarding the accusations of sexual misconduct hanging over Assange in Sweden — they will of course be “dropped.” But let’s wait to see the details of the accusations, and what will come out at the trial before the judge.)
What will happen to Assange and WikiLeaks is what happens to all the nuisances who turn up with hair-raising comments or documents. One questions their motives. One attempts to denigrate them. One attempts to put them in prison. One attempts to pass them off as crazy.
And, of course, one doubts their patriotism.
That’s what happened to Daniel Ellsberg, who, in 1971, leaked thousands of pages of secret analysis from the Pentagon about the Vietnam War. The Pentagon Papers, published in The New York Times, clearly showed that all the American administrations from Eisenhower to Nixon lied to the American public about Indochina. The Pentagon Papers showed that all the press releases about the Vietnam War were lies.
Oddly, the lies help. It makes things much better!
Take George W. Bush and his administration’s officials. These raptors invented “evidence” to invade a country that ultimately didn’t have any biological or nuclear weapons, contrary to what they had so hysterically swore to us. They lied to the American people, to the U.N., to everyone. The case cost thousands of lives, created an open laboratory of jihad and will cost millions of dollars to U.S. taxpayers.
Who demands the arrest of W. and his accomplices in the political class and the American media?
Nobody. Absolutely nobody.
No one in the United States has requested that Scooter Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Cheney, be hanged or killed for having divulged to a journalist the identity of a secret agent of the CIA, Valerie Plame, to annoy her husband, Joseph Wilson, a critic of Bush…
In any case, it’s too late. The genie is out of the bottle, the toothpaste has escaped the proverbial tube of Crest — the liars who govern us oppose them. Today it is WikiLeaks. Tomorrow it will be something else.