Saturday, December 4, 2010
Still More Shiny Objects -- And It's Coming to a Head
It's hard to tell -- and it's not so hard to tell -- what's going on these days.
The WikiLeaks Leaks initially seemed benign enough, certainly nothing (much) in the Leaks that would raise more than momentary domestic ire, regardless of what was happening in the embassies, presidential palaces, and sultans' seraglios overseas. Not exactly a tempest in a teapot, but really, not-that-bad either, unless you were intent, like some Libertarians who wear the Masque of "Progressives" -- Greenwald being one -- to cripple and if possible bring down this Government and substitute it with something else; if Jane were in her Kali-phase, I have no doubt she'd be slashing away with her scimitar at all the "lies" and "phoniness" and "corruption." But she's seemed to be almost somnolent through this latest set-to. Another dog that doesn't bark? I dunno.
When it is realized what the information is, how it was obtained, how lax -- actually absent -- security for the system was, and how mostly benign the cables are, one sees or should see that while it's never wise to have all diplomacy conducted in the open, what's been going on (at least from the perspective of the levels of confidentiality these cables deal with) is pretty much to be expected given widely understood assessments of the World As It Is.
So the relative languidness of The Powers That Be toward the Revelations seemed fitting. What was curious was that apparently nothing (much) was done to secure the Information Retreival system these documents were from until just recently. Clearly there was no intent to do so, until...
All of a sudden, something happened. The usual bluster and threats had been coming out of the Government bunkers, but then all of a sudden, CyberWar got under way in earnest. Strenuous efforts are being made for the first time, so far as I can tell, to shut down not only WikiLeaks ability to disseminate classified information (no matter how benign) but to prevent government workers and the general public from accessing the documents, world-wide if possible. There is apparently "hot pursuit" of Julian under way as well, the lack of which had always puzzled me before, as his peripatetic wanderings on public airlines and his widely advertised public appearances made his whereabouts extraordinarily easy to track.
Now it looks like full-on panic mode from the Government. And like the lack of response to the massive security breach that the doc dumps represented, the New Panic Response isn't normal.
It all seemed to come to a head when Julian announced the upcoming dump of internal memos and documents from a large financial institution widely assumed to be Bank of America. That's when all hell broke loose. And Holy Joe got up in his pulpit and demanded retribution.
So does my early impression that WikiLeaks might be an aspect of a factional war within Government still stand? Truly, that is still mysterious to me. It could be. During the Clinton interregnum between the Bushes, there was a battle royal going on between Gingrichites and Clintonites, in other words, factions of the Governing Class, which Clinton ostensibly "won" -- by beating the Impeachment rap -- but which ultimately led directly to the installation of Bush II on the Throne, and all the wild and crazy shit that followed. The Bushevik reign went down in flames when their Imperial Project crashed on the rocks and it was torpedoed by the collapse of the economy. It was a pretty serious situation.
The Busheviks were replaced by cold blooded technocrats whose job it was to consolidate the gains of the Bushevik era, correct the errots, right some of the furniture, keep the masses tame, and leave things in good order for the next round of lootage and bloodshed.
It was going well until the TeaBaggers popped out from under their rocks, funded by KochPelf and whipped to a frenzy by FOX"News". Oh my. The furiosity of the antagonism toward the cold-blooded technocrats in office took them by surprise, to say the least. The effectiveness of the Furies, driven as they were by mindless contempt and rage, and constantly threatening domestic insurrection, was striking.
The Lesson Learned for the leaders of the TeaBag Uprising was that if you want to have your way, you better go balls to the wall. And so... they did. And the technocrats recoiled in horror.
There's been one insurrection after another, and now the technocrats are bunkered down, seemingly as much as the Busheviks were toward the end.
This will not end well.
The Panic from the Bunkers is not good. Arsonists intent on Burning Down the House may think it is Wonderful, but that is merely a sign of narcissism (heh) and nihilism. For them, it's destruction for its own sake, not "creative destruction" at all. (This is what the Kalis among us never seem to comprehend. There can be moments of creative destruction, but mostly it's just... destruction. And then what? Nihilists have no answer, and Kali doesn't care.)
The Panic is a sign that something seriously dangerous has been uncovered or unleashed. It may actually have nothing to do with WikiLeaks per se; it may be something else altogether. The fact that directives would go out to the federal workforce not to access WikiLeaks -- even if they had access to the documents leaked -- was absurd. Some of the efforts to prevent access by the public are bizarre. the directives coming from Holy Joe ordering (suggesting) that private companies stop hosting WikiLeaks OR ELSE are seriously whack. What's worse is their compliance. The repeatedly bungled "manhunt" for Julian looks like an exercise in futility and powerlessness. Panic is a sign of weakness, not solely of the Leader, but of the Government as an Institution, and when we get to that point, we should all be very... uh... nervous.
A panicked US Government is unpredictably dangerous. Not just to itself. But to everyone. Not just at home, but everywhere. This is quite a step up of the Shock Doctrine.
And that's what's got me puttin' on the tinfoil today.
Hoo-boy, batten down.