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It's alarming to watch the reaction from some in the USA to Assange and Wikileaks. It's similar to how China responds to Tibet activists, or Nobel prize winners.

In case you think I'm being "rhetorical", as Scalia admonished Sotomayer to her face this past week, read on.

He has come under growing pressure after WikiLeaks started publishing excerpts from a cache of 250,000 secret messages. In the US, the level of political vituperation has become more vengeful. The former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has described Assange as "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands". The senior Republican Mike Huckabee said that "anything less than execution is too kind a penalty".

If this is the land of the free and home of the brave and freedom of the press yada yada yada, then wikileaks is holding up a mirror to our supposed values and beliefs, and what it's showing ain't pretty. It's crazed. I hear everyday people condemn Assange without even knowing the good that was intended AND accomplished.

Allow me to present exhibit 205-b: our failed Drug war.

(flip)

Here is link for story quoted above:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

The US has lost confidence in the Mexican army's ability to win the country's drugs war, branding it slow, clumsy and no match for "sophisticated" narco-traffickers.

Classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks also reveal a growing sense of alarm within Mexico's government that time is running out in the battle against organised crime and that it could "lose" entire regions.

The NY Times this past weekend picked up the story about wikileaks and the drug war. Specifically, that our failed policy in Mexico is KNOWN to be a failed policy in both Mexico and Washington, D.C. (and by anyone who's done serious research into the issue, for that matter) We the public do in fact deserve to know that we are supporting a failed war, whether it be in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Mexico. In the Guardian article above, Secretary Clinton apparently proposed that we send troops to Mexico.

Secretary Clinton has become increasingly candid about our drug war failures.

Privately, Gutierrez Fernandez admitted to US officials that Mexico bungled the early phase of the Mérida Initiative, a security pact between the US, Mexico and central America, by focusing too much on equipment rather than competent personnel and institutions.

Don't get me started on the Merida Initiative. But forget about me. I'm nobody. Are there any teabaggers yelling about this wasted tax money? None? Because they're often racists who don't mind wasting money on militaristic waste in other countries, where the inhabitants are brown? Oh, okay. Just checking and making sure their hypocrisy was still there, and it is.

NY Times offers more bleak assessments:

In the account of the meeting, which was included in the American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks and posted on Mexican news Web sites, Mr. Gutiérrez was quoted as saying: "We have 18 months and if we do not produce a tangible success that is recognizable to the Mexican people, it will be difficult to sustain the confrontation into the next administration."

The summary of Mr. Gutiérrez’s comments, written by the United States ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, continued: "He expressed a real concern with ‘losing’ certain regions. It is damaging Mexico’s international reputation, hurting foreign investment, and leading to a sense of government impotence, Gutiérrez said."

The documents released by WikiLeaks capture a moment at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 when Mexican officials were forced to acknowledge — despite their public claims of progress — that their military strategy was not producing the results they had hoped for in the drug war.

The diplomatic cables also show just how entwined the United States has become in Mexico’s drug war. The United States government provides Mexico with intelligence to pinpoint where top drug lords are hiding out, trains elite troops, and American officials discuss strategy to try to quell the violence in Ciudad Juárez, which has become ground zero in the drug war.

But the cables suggest frustration that the military, the police and prosecutors are not up to the task. In a blunt assessment, John Feeley, the deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in Mexico City, concluded in January that military officials "share the parochial, risk-averse habits that often plague their civilian counterparts in Mexican law enforcement agencies."

Originally posted to theytookmyblogalready on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:01 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:01:12 PM PST

  •  Do you know what I find really funny (16+ / 0-)

    about these supposed leaks?

    Those of us that have been paying attention already know this stuff.

    •  I think that is because 80% of intelligence (12+ / 0-)

      is open source.

      There really isn't an awful lot of "filling in the blanks" to do.  That is why most conspiracy theories are a crock.  Occasionally, you learn something really big... but was anyone surprised to learn the Gulf of Tonkin incident was fabricated?  We were already bombing North Vietnam using Thai pilots.  The question wasn't if we would go to war -- it was when we would do it openly.

      "They really don't want to 'win' the war; they just want to have one."
      -- DelicateMonster

      by 8ackgr0und N015e on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:10:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Source? I was in the Tonkin Gulf that night and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        207wickedgood

        prior to that we were up the Arabian Sea: Madagascar, Mombassa, Aden and hosting the Shah of Iran. Then we made it back to the Tonkin just in time for Aug 2-4, 1964.

        •  um, you really require a scource that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoregon, Julian Domain

          we did that? in 2010?

          371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" "We live in our actions and our reactions"- Great Lake Swimmers

          by cedar park on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:23:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thai government (4+ / 0-)

          Coincidentally, Thailand finally made official and public what everyone has known all along: 55% of all U.S. bombing of the North originates from the four U.S. airbases leased from the Thais, where the bulk of the 35,000 U.S. personnel in Thailand are stationed

          Time Friday, Mar. 17, 1967

        •  source for Thai pilots.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AllisonInSeattle

          read the Pentagon Papers ... or at least the portions covering the months immediately prior to the Gulf of Tonkin "incident."

          source for Gulf of Tonkin "incident" being a lie....
          Google is your friend, but since you can't do your own homework, here is a remdial lesson plan for you:

          Later on at a conference in Washington DC, Daniel Ellsberg (former advisor to during the war) said:

          "Did McNamara lie to Congress in 1964? I can answer that question. Yes, he did lie, and I knew it at the time. I was working for John McNaughton... I was his special assistant. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He knew McNamara had lied. McNamara knew he had lied. He is still lying. (Former Secretary of State Dean) Rusk and McNamara testified to Congress... prior to their vote... Congress was being lied into.. what was to be used as a formal declaration of war. I knew that.... I don't look back on that situation with pride."

          Ellsberg also revealed:

          "What I did not reveal in the summer of '64... was a conspiracy to manipulate the public into a war and to win an election through fraud... which had the exact horrible consequences the founders of this country envisioned when they ruled out, they thought as best they could, that an Executive Branch could secretly decide the decisions of war and peace, without public debate or vote of Congress... Senator Morse, one of the two people who voted against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution told me in 1971, '...had you given us all that information... seven years earlier, in 1964, the Tonkin Gulf Resolution would never have gotten out of Committee. And, if it had, it would never have passed...'

          Your assignment -- find evidence the attack actually occurred.  Be sure it is concrete, reliable, and independently verifiable.  Because the refutation is.

          "They really don't want to 'win' the war; they just want to have one."
          -- DelicateMonster

          by 8ackgr0und N015e on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:17:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Gulf of Tonkin not exactly true or fabricated. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No one gets out alive

        Years later the National Security Agency tried to figure out what actually happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident.  A secret history (PDF) was written; and in 2005 it was declassified, thanks to the perseverance of FOIA requester Matthew M. Aid.

        It seems a few rounds were exchanged between NSA spy ship USS Maddox and three North Vietnamese PT boats on August 2 1964, the same day as an air raid on the North by CIA-directed mercenaries.  Two days later on August 4, NSA spy ship USS Turner Joy reported a second attack.  As the Turner Joy desperately fought off the attack, the report made its way up through channels to the Pentagon, McNamara and LBJ.

        What none of them knew at the time was that there were no North Vietnamese vessels in the area on August 4, and no actual attack.  The Turner Joy was fighting radar and sonar bogies, i.e. ambiguous signals which they misinterpreted as attackers.  However it took them awhile to figure this out and notify their chain of command.  By the time the corrected report reached Washington, the stirring but erroneous battle report had already been passed on to McNamara and retaliation was being planned.  

        The NSA brass were too chickenshit to admit to McNamara that they had cried wolf, and did not inform him when they learned that the August 4 battle was fought against empty ocean.  Probably LBJ was never told, nor was Congress.  The military continued to cover up this truth and misled Congress throughout subsequent Congressional investigations.

        The August 2 encounter was real, although overblown and not exactly unprovoked.  The August 4 encounter was not fabricated, but it was not exactly real either, as it was realized afterward that no enemy had been in the area.  There was not exactly a lie, but certainly an economy of truth on the part of the military brass who kept quiet rather than admit error.

        Wikipedia has a decent summary of what is now known.

    •  like I said above, anyone who has looked at (10+ / 0-)

      this issue, and doesn't make $$ off our drug war, has to come to the reasonable conclusion:

      if this is a war, it's lost. and mismanaged. corrupt. incredibly bloody.

      and one of the many things that are pushing hard up against the bubble that is American society.

      witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

      by change the Be on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:14:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Umberto Eco (6+ / 0-)

      The rule that says secret files must only contain news that is already common knowledge is essential to the dynamic of secret services, and not only in the present century. [....]

      The same goes for secret files. The informant is lazy. So is the head of the secret service (or at least he’s limited – otherwise he could be, what do I know, an editor at Libération): he only regards as true what he recognises. The top-secret dope on Berlusconi that the US embassy in Rome beamed to the Department of State was the same story that had come out in Newsweek the week before.

      -- Not such wicked leaks

      ... I don't entirely agree, as I think he glosses over some real and damaging material, but it puts the whole business in an interesting light.

      •  Assange is fighting the habit of secrecy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        Eco is of course correct that secret files contain pretty much only widely known stuff.  And Assange knows this.  If you read his philosophy, he's pointing out that by publishing the original documents, we break their illusion of secrecy and force them to clamp down harder to preserve it (thus causing them to be even less competent and even more out of touch).  Assange does neglect the alternate possibility that they will simply decide to make less of it secret, going for the GWB "Damn right I'm a lawbreaking war criminal" approach.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 03:16:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  and calderon isn't the man to get it done (9+ / 0-)

    "They [the Americans] have a clear responsibility in this because they are providing the market for the drug dealers and the criminals," President Calderón said. "They need to do a lot more in terms of reducing the consumption of drugs and to stop the flow of weapons towards Mexico.

    But being the jackass that he is, calderon came out against proposition 19 to legalize cannabis, even though his predecessor vicente fox strong supported prop 19.

    What a fucking mess.

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:09:24 PM PST

  •  long live julian assange. (10+ / 0-)

    you can quibble about certain things not needing to be released, but don't forget that the us state dept rebuffed attempts at cooperation from assange to redact documents.

    I still remember assange saying that he liked "crushing bastards". I guess our completely fabricated "rape" witch hunt against him is our way of affirming his allegations of bastard-ness?

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:11:47 PM PST

  •  American exceptionalism (9+ / 0-)

    could it be that the reason why Palin and Huckabee et al. are so offended by the Wikileaks and its found Assange is that they expose the fact that the US is exceptional only in its hypocrisy, waste and failures in military adventurism?

    Are there any teabaggers yelling about this wasted tax money? None? Because they're often racists who don't mind wasting money on militaristic waste in other countries, where the inhabitants are brown? Oh, okay. Just checking and making sure their hypocrisy was still there, and it is.

    yet more evidence that Teabaggers' only policy position is racism.  Whatever it is that a government of white people can do to dehumanize brown people is good, anything that any government does to help or humanize brown people is bad.  And reduces the exceptional nature of America, in their jaded, racist eyes.

  •  The Drug War is a War against.... (7+ / 0-)

       We The People of the USA. It is waged to fill the burgeoning private prison industry. The sick f***ers trade openly on Wall Street, hoping that they can fill their prisons to increase their dividends. A SURE sign that our Country is losing it's collective mind.

  •  There's never a tea bagger around when you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    change the Be

    need one.  Why aren't they screaming about the tax cuts?  

    President Obama Declares His DLC Allegiance: Says "I Am A New Democrat"

    by dkmich on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 02:40:42 AM PST

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