[LETTERS] The end of dissent

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[LETTERS] The end of dissent

Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks, has exposed
the lies, deceit and hypocrisy of the
world’s leaders, and because of this he is being
hounded like a fox. U.S. politicians have
called for his head, literally. They have labeled
him a threat to world peace, and a “terrorist”
among other things. Sarah Palin, that woman
from Alaska who thought that Africa was a
country, has accused him of “treason” even
though he is not a U.S. citizen, and therefore
cannot be guilty of such a crime. Mike Huckabee,
an American politician who can play
guitar and doesn’t believe in evolution, has
called for his execution.
The inability to face the truth is, of course,
not limited to the U.S. If you anger the Chinese
they will toss you in jail and throw away
the key. Do the same in Saudi Arabia and they
will simply kill you. But in countries such as
the U.S., traditionally seen as a model of democracy
and bastion of free speech, the recent
trend to control information is disturbing. As
Assange admits, the U.S. “is becoming more
closed.”
Distinguished MIT linguist Noam Chomsky,
author of more than 100 books, had this
to say: The WikiLeaks cables reveal a “profound
hatred for democracy on the part of our
political leadership.” Posting on the Christian
Science Monitor’s Web site, in response to an
article about Julian Assange, Jacob Stephens
wrote: “WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS
SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” He
then added: “Big brother is becoming a reality
and, quite frankly, it’s utterly terrifying.”
He was, of course, quoting from the novel
“1984,” by George Orwell. This book is about
the future, or was when it was written more
than 50 years ago. The author paints a bleak
portrait of how the government spins the facts
to such a degree that nobody knows up from
down or truth from lie. That time has finally
come.
We are here to talk about the end of dissent,
and how that is a direct result of government
efforts, mainly those of the U.S., but also
those of other countries, to persecute those
that simply want to publish the truth. We all
remember what happened to South Korean
blogger Minerva when he predicted a bad
economy. He got thrown in jail.
Why is the U.S. so eager to prosecute Assange?
Perhaps “mysix,” also posting on the
CSM Web site, can explain. He wrote: “America
has tried to control the world and information
flow for far too long. Congratulations to
Julian Assange for having the courage and
fortitude to challenge Goliath. The age of the
Cold War is over and while there is still espionage,
I would be willing to bet a lot of this
so called classified information shows the
U.S. for what it truly is and how it really operates.
For a country which cries foul at any
other entity’s lack of transparency America
should try it. It’s about time someone unveils
the meek wizard behind the curtains.”
But, as Assange himself admits, Wikileaks
is not merely interested in establishing transparency;
it wants justice. And that road to justice
is bumpy and paved with dissent. For
WikiLeaks, it means hard times ahead.
Rick Ruffin, born in Brazil of American parents
and now living in Donghae, South Korea.

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should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.”
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