Palin drones.

I haven’t blogged on the Wikileaks story partly because plenty of others already have, so I’m not going to go into it in much depth now beyond passing a few comments on the rumblings and ramblings of Sarah Palin and others. Palin bashing is not normally my thing, but it’s hard to resist when headlines are saying she wants him hunted down. Hunted down? Seriously? For what? Look, I realise this is all very embarrassing for the US but come on, how damaging is it really? Yes, it’s classified information, but I have a feeling that there’s a clue to the value of much of that information in the fact that the US soldier who leaked it was a Private First Class, a rank which I believe you get in the US Army automatically just by sticking around for a certain amount of time.

And the actual content itself. Jesus Christ, is it really a big deal? So now we know what we only suspected last week, that politicians and political appointees can be bitchy, craven and stupid. Wow, who knew? It’s a shock revelation alright, the shock being that they bothered to classify it in the first place. Okay, I’m exaggerating. As I said, it is embarrassing for the US but if was really that sensitive what the fuck were they doing allowing a lowly Pfc access to it all? As for hunting down Julian Assange, you’ve got the leaker in custody. Wikileaks published it, but if it had been the editor of the New York Times would there be calls to hunt him down? But where Palin really put me at risk of spewing tea all over the keyboard was with this:

Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

Sarah, honey, what fucking urgency would this be, eh?

Pursued with urgency since 1998.

If the US does decide to go after Assange “urgently” can we presume that he can hole up until at least the mid to late 2020s in a Swedish ski lodge somewhere?

The 46-year-old, who is known for her conservative views, questioned on Twitter why the US government couldn’t “stop WikiLeaks’ treasonous act”, perhaps unaware that Mr Assange is not an American citizen, and that the activist website is hosted in Sweden with servers across the globe.

Not much I can say that The Age didn’t. Treason is betraying one’s own country and Assange is not an American. How much he may or may not have betrayed Australia by publishing leaked American diplomatic data is another thing, but he’s certainly not a traitor to the US. By definition he can’t be. John McCain’s daughter understands that.

Kind of.

Last month, the daughter of Senator John McCain, Sarah Palin’s presidential running mate, said Mr Assange’s release of military documents on Afghanistan and Iraq as “unAmerican”.

“He looks like a James Bond villain. He harbours a lot of ill will towards America. To me he’s a villain,” Meghan McCain said, adding that Mr Assange was a “creepy rogue Swedish guy”.

Points for being literally correct about Assange being unAmerican, but he’s not a Swede either. He’s fucking Australian for Christ’s sake. Australia? You know? Big island. Bottom right hand corner of most world maps. You can’t miss it. Though Mrs Exile suspects that really he’s from Gallifrey.

And these are two of the comparatively sane voices on the US right. There are people talking about having him assassinated or kidnapped, presumably for later execution after a few years of softening up in Gitmo. All for some poxy diplomatic gossip, which even the US government isn’t getting too excited about.

…the US Defence Secretary today played down the impact of WikiLeaks’ latest documents’ release, calling them embarrassing and awkward but only having a “fairly modest” impact on US foreign policy.

“Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for US foreign policy? I think fairly modest,” Robert Gates said in a Pentagon press conference.

Though that’s not stopping them from wanting to charge him as well.

The US government is seeking to charge Mr Assange and other WikiLeaks representatives under its Espionage Act, although it is unclear whether such moves are possible.

A US defence lawyer specialising in intelligence cases, Mark Zaid, told Reuters it would be “very difficult for the US government to prosecute [Mr Assange] in the US for what he is doing”.

Under US law, anyone charged would had to have been in contact with a foreign power and also provided them with secrets. Mr Assange has not been accused of doing either.

Quite. He’s a pain in the arse and he’s probably not going to shut up until we’re all bored with him leaking what this Ambassador said about that Ambassador’s wife’s dress at the other Ambassador’s party and stopped paying attention. The Yanks have the guy who did the actual leaking in custody, and as a soldier presumably he’s covered by some American version of the Official Secrets Act. Content yourselves with that would be my advice, and certainly don’t fall for the temptation of extra-judicial killing of the citizens of allied nations. America is still supposed to be leading the free world, and the implication was that it’s leading it to more freedom rather than less.


Posted on December 4, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Palin drones..

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