Democrats’ Demonizing WikiLeaks Shows How Little They Care About Democracy
The party has used McCarthyism to discredit those who expose it.
WikiLeaks has never had to retract a piece of information it’s published in its twelve years of being in operation. It has never hacked into the information of any institution or individual, since its purpose is to publish information that outside whistleblowers have leaked. It has consistently published leaks on the overreach of Trump’s CIA and of the Russian government’s spying practices, and Julian Assange hopes to publish Trump’s tax returns. And even Obama has admitted that there’s no proof Assange is working for Russia.
The political establishment’s attacks against Assange and WikiLeaks directly match the damage that WikiLeaks is doing to the paradigm of corporate and governmental rule-by-secrecy. Last month, when Democratic congressman Adam Schiff observed that “WikiLeaks began posting emails from the Clinton campaign in October, just weeks before the November election” to try to implicate WikiLeaks with Russia, he was not going off of what he’d found out independently. He was helping his donors in the military contracting agencies, which gave $70,000 to Schiff in the last election cycle alone, and whose operations are being endangered by the information revolution that Assange is helping bring about.
We shouldn’t have expected the Democratic Party not to descend into this reactionary neo-McCarthyism in response to WikiLeaks’ exposing its corruption. The party is an extension of the interests of the ruling class, and so it will engage in these kinds of authoritarian behaviors when necessary. But the extremity of this reaction-the McCarthyite charges against those who hold opposing views, the efforts to silence dissenting media, the drive to start a new cold war with Russia-shows how the Democratic Party establishment has always viewed democracy.
The liberal elites propagating the anti-WikiLeaks, pro-censorship, and anti-Russia narratives have not tried to protect us from the WTO, which undemocratically imposes neoliberal policies on populations. They haven’t opposed the takeover of politics by corporations and billionaires. They’ve helped carry out the litany of U.S. interferences into sovereign democracies in recent decades. They’ve systematically suppressed and flipped millions of votes in the 2016 Democratic primaries to nominate their favored candidate. They’ve marginalized the opponents of empire and corporate power, while employing police violence and other forms of state repression to keep these dissenters powerless.
“Democrats hate democracy,” observed Caitlin Johnstone in the title of a column last year which describes how the party treats the left. “Unless you have been fully processed by the Democratic party’s corporatist conformity machine, only allowed to move up party ranks as you demonstrate brown-nosing fealty to Wall Street and the military-industrial complex, you must never be permitted access to the ‘democratic’ system of elected representation. These people are violently opposed to democracy, and yet they call themselves ‘Democrats’. And Americans are so alienated from what democracy is that this is accepted as normal.”
This autocratic entity, helped by deep state propaganda outlets like CNN and the New York Times, has no intention of stopping its takeover of humanity. As we’re bombarded with absurd propaganda spectacles like Mueller’s recent Russia indictments, notice the coercive forces that are gathering around us: increasingly militarized police, to the effect that 188 people have been killed by police in the U.S. so far this year. Escalated warfare, with the U.S. empire now preparing new wars in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and the baltics. Intensified online censorship, with governments and corporations massively suppressing the viewership of dissenting websites like Truthdig and Consortiumnews.
Julian Assange will likely always will be a criminal according to the state. But those who defy power will always be treated as heretics along with him. And there are a lot of people who defy power. So as we try to counter the establishment’s efforts to destroy and exploit, we can take solidarity through Assange’s words: “If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.”