from the the-enemy-of-my-enemy dept
That said, it's becoming downright comedic to watch Assange, Wikileaks and whistleblowers become increasingly vilified or deified -- depending entirely on what's being said, who it's being said about, or what color-coded partisan jumpsuit you're wearing.
For example, Assange was a hero to Democrats after exposing government misdeeds during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but was demonized incessantly in the wake of the DNC hack (to the point where the actual data revealed was thoroughly ignored). Similarly, Assange was derided by Republicans as the very worst sort of scoundrel for the better part of the last decade, a position that has, well, softened in the wake of the Clinton campaign-crippling DNC hack. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, for now, right?
In fact Assange has bizarrely become a temporary folk hero to many of the same folks that wanted his head on a pike just a few months ago. Sarah Palin, for example, in 2010 got very close to advocating that Assange be hunted down and killed, likening him to an "anti-American operative with blood on his hands." That position was forged, in part, after Wikileaks leaked Palin's Yahoo e-mails back in 2008 after a hacker gained access to the Alaskan government documents Palin had been storing on a private server.
This week, however, Palin took to Twitter and Facebook to lavish praise on Assange after the Wikileaks founder was interviewed on Fox News, an outlet that has also, on occasion, advocated that Assange be put to death. Apparently, that's all water under the bridge now:
To Julian Assange: I apologize.— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) January 4, 2017
Please watch Sean Hannity's interview with Julian Assange (Wikileaks).... https://t.co/UZpt4MMX2J
"Exposing the truth re: the Left having been oh-so-guilty of atrocious actions and attitudes of which they've falsely accused others. The media collusion that hid what many on the Left have been supporting is shocking. This important information that finally opened people's eyes to democrat candidates and operatives would not have been exposed were it not for Julian Assange. I apologize for condemning Assange when he published my infamous (and proven noncontroversial, relatively boring) emails years ago.For the record she didn't "condemn" Assange, she suggested he be treated like al Qaeda and Taliban leaders (read: violence). And while it's nice that Palin now sees (or pretends to see) that her past anti-whistleblower positions were violently misguided, it's unlikely that this is any kind of lasting sea change. After all, the real message being sent here is that whistleblowers and leakers are the very worst sort of villains when they're saying things we don't want to hear, but they're heroes of the highest order when they leak data that damages our enemies or props up the weekly partisan narrative du jour.
ps. If you get the chance, catch the movie "Snowden." That movie and Hannity's interview tonight are quite enlightening."
And while this positional flip flop on a certain front is incredibly entertaining in a David Lynch sort of way, transparency and truth don't work that way. While leaking organizations and whistleblowers themselves are certainly fallible, the truths they reveal are non-negotiable, and don't care about partisan patty cake. In other words, these same folks suddenly lavishing praise on whistleblowers now because it's tactically convenient, will be back arguing for assassination by drone strike the moment the next whistleblower reveals truths they'd prefer remain hidden.