Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Frontline Gets Around to the Manning/WikiLeaks Story

Actually, it was quite a good program to introduce the topic to those who probably haven't been following it closely. Which I would assume includes pretty much all Americans.

I was more interested in the reaction to it in the comments to the program and to some of the additional material online.

Many people were appreciative that the story was being told at all, but a significant contingent put on their High Dudgeon Drag and stormed around denouncing PBS and Frontline for their "hatchet job" and "hit piece," going on and on and on about how disreputable this kind of coverage is, etc., etc.

We've. Seen. It. All. Before.

It is routine whenever the topic of WikiLeaks arises for partisans, "team-members," and mindless loyalists to throw hissy-fits and temper tantrums if the story isn't sufficiently laudatory toward Julian Assange. Julian himself has done it many times.

In this psycho-drama, Bradley Manning is little more than a prop. It's always all about Julian and how earthshakingly selfless and heroic he is in the face of concerted State Power. Any hint that Julian may be human and not a superhero, may even have feet of clay, is met with relentless denunciations.

As for Manning, he is a support-player in Julian's psycho-drama at best. Julian refuses (no doubt on the advice of an attorney) to acknowledge any connection between himself/WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, though there is some evidence he's wanted the story changed to suit his particular interests and needs. The Game is Julian playing cat-and-mouse with The Government (whichever Government); in that Game, people like Manning are collateral damage. Oh well, too bad, so sad.

One of the people who appeared in the documentary goes by the name of Emmanuel Goldstein. How cute. This person is actually one Eric Gordon Corley, hacker extraordinaire, but strangely, Frontline did not identify him as such. Emmanuel Goldstein, as we know, is the turncoat subject of the Two Minute Hate in 1984. In fact, for a time, at least until he was run to very plush ground in Britain, Julian Assange was the chosen Emmanuel Goldstein for our time. Once he was bagged, though... was time for Bin Laden to get liquidated. And now they are going after Gaddafi, having already terminated one of his sons. I'm sure that Other Devils will arise as one-by-one, the old ones are eliminated.

This Frontline episode is being ritually denounced by what I assume are the usual crew of WikiLeaks supporters simply for not being laudatory enough of Julian on the one hand and for "smearing" Manning on the other by delving somewhat gingerly into his private life -- including his somewhat turbulent personality and his gayness.

An example of the commentary:

Greg K. 1 month ago
Kill the messenger much?

Very disheartening to see Frontline do such an irrelevant piece on such a hugely important story. Manning's personality and motives -- as well as his status as a hero or villain-- don't matter in the slightest. What does matter is the shifting of power dynamics brought about by communications technology, the leveling of the playing field between governments and individuals. Passive-aggressive hit pieces like this one only serve to obscure the issue.

Read more:

There it is in a nutshell.

I'm pondering why it is so important for the mindless loyalists of Julian/WikiLeaks to repeat these charges again and again, no matter who publishes insufficiently laudatory pieces about Julian/WikiLeaks (and/or collateral damage like Manning) and no matter what those pieces say, and further, I'm wondering why it is so important for them (and Julian) to try to control the narrative so completely.

To me, this is just one of several signs that things are not -- at all -- what they seem to be with Julian and WikiLeaks, and that one should treat anything that comes out of their workshop with extreme skepticism.

Just as one should be skeptical of anything in the Major Mass Media.

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