Assange on the Election

Here is the link:

https://wikileaks.org/Assange-Statement-on-the-US-Election.html

Here is the complete post:

8 November 2016

By Julian Assange

In recent months, WikiLeaks and I personally have come under enormous pressure to stop publishing what the Clinton campaign says about itself to itself. That pressure has come from the campaign’s allies, including the Obama administration, and from liberals who are anxious about who will be elected US President.

On the eve of the election, it is important to restate why we have published what we have.

The right to receive and impart true information is the guiding principle of WikiLeaks – an organization that has a staff and organizational mission far beyond myself. Our organization defends the public’s right to be informed.

This is why, irrespective of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, the real victor is the US public which is better informed as a result of our work.

The US public has thoroughly engaged with WikiLeaks’ election related publications which number more than one hundred thousand documents. Millions of Americans have pored over the leaks and passed on their citations to each other and to us. It is an open model of journalism that gatekeepers are uncomfortable with, but which is perfectly harmonious with the First Amendment.

We publish material given to us if it is of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical importance and which has not been published elsewhere. When we have material that fulfills this criteria, we publish. We had information that fit our editorial criteria which related to the Sanders and Clinton campaign (DNC Leaks) and the Clinton political campaign and Foundation (Podesta Emails). No-one disputes the public importance of these publications. It would be unconscionable for WikiLeaks to withhold such an archive from the public during an election.

At the same time, we cannot publish what we do not have. To date, we have not received information on Donald Trump’s campaign, or Jill Stein’s campaign, or Gary Johnson’s campaign or any of the other candidates that fufills our stated editorial criteria. As a result of publishing Clinton’s cables and indexing her emails we are seen as domain experts on Clinton archives. So it is natural that Clinton sources come to us.

We publish as fast as our resources will allow and as fast as the public can absorb it.

That is our commitment to ourselves, to our sources, and to the public.

This is not due to a personal desire to influence the outcome of the election. The Democratic and Republican candidates have both expressed hostility towards whistleblowers. I spoke at the launch of the campaign for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, because her platform addresses the need to protect them. This is an issue that is close to my heart because of the Obama administration’s inhuman and degrading treatment of one of our alleged sources, Chelsea Manning. But WikiLeaks publications are not an attempt to get Jill Stein elected or to take revenge over Ms Manning’s treatment either.

Publishing is what we do. To withhold the publication of such information until after the election would have been to favour one of the candidates above the public’s right to know.

This is after all what happened when the New York Times withheld evidence of illegal mass surveillance of the US population for a year until after the 2004 election, denying the public a critical understanding of the incumbent president George W Bush, which probably secured his reelection. The current editor of the New York Times has distanced himself from that decision and rightly so.

The US public defends free speech more passionately, but the First Amendment only truly lives through its repeated exercise. The First Amendment explicitly prevents the executive from attempting to restrict anyone’s ability to speak and publish freely. The First Amendment does not privilege old media, with its corporate advertisers and dependencies on incumbent power factions, over WikiLeaks’ model of scientific journalism or an individual’s decision to inform their friends on social media. The First Amendment unapologetically nurtures the democratization of knowledge. With the Internet, it has reached its full potential.

Yet, some weeks ago, in a tactic reminiscent of Senator McCarthy and the red scare, Wikileaks, Green Party candidate Stein, Glenn Greenwald and Clinton’s main opponent were painted with a broad, red brush. The Clinton campaign, when they were not spreading obvious untruths, pointed to unnamed sources or to speculative and vague statements from the intelligence community to suggest a nefarious allegiance with Russia. The campaign was unable to invoke evidence about our publications—because none exists.

In the end, those who have attempted to malign our groundbreaking work over the past four months seek to inhibit public understanding perhaps because it is embarrassing to them – a reason for censorship the First Amendment cannot tolerate. Only unsuccessfully do they try to claim that our publications are inaccurate.

WikiLeaks’ decade-long pristine record for authentication remains. Our key publications this round have even been proven through the cryptographic signatures of the companies they passed through, such as Google. It is not every day you can mathematically prove that your publications are perfect but this day is one of them.

We have endured intense criticism, primarily from Clinton supporters, for our publications. Many long-term supporters have been frustrated because we have not addressed this criticism in a systematic way or responded to a number of false narratives about Wikileaks’ motivation or sources. Ultimately, however, if WL reacted to every false claim, we would have to divert resources from our primary work.

WikiLeaks, like all publishers, is ultimately accountable to its funders. Those funders are you. Our resources are entirely made up of contributions from the public and our book sales. This allows us to be principled, independent and free in a way no other influential media organization is. But it also means that we do not have the resources of CNN, MSNBC or the Clinton campaign to constantly rebuff criticism.

Yet if the press obeys considerations above informing the public, we are no longer talking about a free press, and we are no longer talking about an informed public.

Wikileaks remains committed to publishing information that informs the public, even if many, especially those in power, would prefer not to see it. WikiLeaks must publish. It must publish and be damned.

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Charles Burris on Trump and the Deep State

I ran across this today at Lew Rockwell’s website

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/trump-deep-state-retrospective/

Charles Burris summarizes what he has noticed, and likes, about the way Donald Trump’s campaign has exposed certain aspects of the Deep State.  I was gratified to read this article because I’ve been thinking the same things, and it’s good to be reminded that I’m not alone.

Comments welcome as always.

.

 

On Darrell Castle and Gary Johnson

Darrell Castle, the presidential candidate of the Constitution Party, and Gary Johnson, the presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, have a lot in common. Such as the following:

— 1. Both of them believe in the central importance of personal political liberty.

— 2. Both of them dislike the Establishment 2-Party System.,

— 3. Neither of them expects to win an election for president, at least not this year.  Probably neither of them even expects to win a single electoral vote.

Since neither of them expects to win anything, it can be reasonably asked, “Then why in the world are they running?”

My answer would be, “Each man is carrying the banner for a traditional political philosophy that crosses the boundaries of countries and centuries.” They are champions of political philosophies that are important in themselves, even if they seem marginal to many voters.  Each of the candidates embodies a point of view shared by many other intelligent, articulate people.  Each is, in my view, worthy of respect.

So much for generalities; now to specifics.  Here are links to  the current party platforms, brief descriptions of the parties, and biographies of their candidates.

Libertarian Party Platform      Libertarian Party     candidate Gary Johnson

The Constitution Party Platform   Constitution Party   candidate Darrell Castle

I have friends and acquaintances in both parties, and have attended their rallies and conventions, and have voted for their party candidates, local and national, in elections past.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing both of you guys, and your parties, on Tuesday’s ballot.

 

I Admire Jill Stein (and others, too)

This is a follow on to my earlier post, in which I talked a little about the Green Party’s platform. Here is a link to that post:

https://cedarseleven.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/i-admire-jill-stein/

In that post I promised this follow-up.  Here goes:

I admire Jill Stein for her instincts to stand with our fellow-citizens on the Dakota tribal lands who are defending their ownership of their lands, and trying to resist the encroachments of the bulldozers of the fracking corporate-ocracy, supported by the US military-police-state. This unrighteous union of wealth-greed-and-power has the sufficient support of both Democratic “liberal” and Republican “conservative” lawmakers to do what they are doing with the impunity that naturally goes with people who have gotten by with this murderous shit for generations.

( By the way, I used the word shit because it is the appropriate word to use here.  Though I admit that I don’t mind that it will piss off some of my very righteous fellow Christians who think they ought to own and regulate free speech with their own version of political-religious correctness.   If you think that your children might be reading this, and get the vapors, just hurry them back to Disney-world again where it’s all good-y and safe-y and nice-y.  And fantas-y. )

Let us remind our selves, in passing, that this attack upon the Dakota tribe comes from an administration and an Establishment political party that supposedly stands for human dignity, rights of women and children, etc. ad nauseum.  With the willing complicity of the other Establishment political party across the aisle.

But back to Jill.  I said I admire Jill Stein for her instincts, when I meant to add that I also really admire her for her courage to physically stand with a completely marginalized group of citizens.  The Dakota tribe has a right to the sanctity of their ancestral lands — should I have said “reservation”?

Of course, Jill is not acting alone.  She is part of a larger group of people.  You have company, Jill, and I know that you know that.  Just know that you will not be getting kudos from very many people.  If you have the approval of your own heart, and a few good friends, that will probably have to do.

You might get kudos from Cindy Sheehan, who challenged the Establishment-popular invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 when she camped outside of George W. Bush’s “compound” in Crawford, Texas.  The substance of her challenge was never adequately responded to.  The media decided that they owned the story, and when it passed its sell-by date, gladly moved on.

You’ll probably get kudos from the spirit of Rachel Corrie, who in 2003 got run over by an Establishment-Israeli bulldozer while literally standing up for the right of Palestinians to live on their own, uh, “reservation.”  Rachel was run-over twice: once by an Israeli bulldozer operator who claimed that he couldn’t see her, and the second time by an Israeli-friendly media who chose to avert their eyes.

Maybe the examples of these two brave women will help to encourage you.  They will probably keep your expectations of “success” modest, though.

Go for it, Jill, and maybe some of us will get up there to Dakota to join you soon.

 

 

I Admire Jill Stein

Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for President in 2016.  I don’t know as much about her qualifications and experience as I ought to, but I want to say — to myself, my future self, and anyone reading this — that there are two specific reasons for me to respect and admire Jill Stein, before whatever happens in the coming election.

First reason:  there is a lot for me to like in her Green Party’s platform, which you can read here:

http://www.jill2016.com/platform

As I scanned through the (many) bullet points, I found quite a few — a majority, actually — that I agreed with.  There are some that I fully agree with; there are others in which I agree with the implicit moral intent, while reserving some doubts as to whether the policy to achieve that moral intent is well crafted to achieve it; and there are a few with which I disagree as a matter of basic personal principle.  If you read the platform through, I suspect that your experience will be similar to mine, but differing on points.

The GP platform raises issues that neither the Establishment, nor its Sanders-supporting opponents, nor its Trump-supporting opponents are saying much, if anything, about.  I find this interesting.  In fact, I find this selective blindness (on the part of pretty much everybody) downright curious.  But let us move quickly on — time constraints and all that.

Second reason:  there is something about her personal instincts and courage that I admire.  But I’ll save that for a follow-up post, so stay tuned.  This one has gone long enough.

I suggest that those good folks who profess to be (or are truly) tired of this election cycle or turned-off by the two major-party candidates should check out Jill Stein.  You might find  a cause you can better believe in and a candidate you can more fully support.