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.
Here is link for story quoted above:
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."