A Response to Killgore Trout and Other Opponents of Wikileaks
As noted last night, I was reluctant to post this or any further essays in defense of Wikileaks and Anonymous on LGF due to the turn the conversation was taking as well as my being uncomfortable with advocating for what are now being viewed as akin to terrorist organizations by some people associated with this site, particularly in light of my longtime involvement with both groups and particularly Anonymous. After having read the very kind sentiments expressed by several readers and Charles himself, I’ve decided that I really would like to continue engaging with everyone on this issue, and I look forward to doing so in a constructive and honest manner. As odd as it may sound, I sometimes forget that not everyone is an anarcho-technocratic internationalist, which should tell you something about the company I keep.
Over the last few days I have been trying to make the case for Wikileaks, Anonymous, civil disobedience, and the primacy of conscience over nationalism. This effort has met with mixed results. I’m honestly surprised at some of the opposition I’ve encountered. In saying that, I don’t mean to imply that my own position is so obviously correct that any disagreement merits only surprise, because that is not the case; this is a complicated issue on which reasonable men may disagree. Rather, my surprise is my own fault. Having spent much of my working life studying the mindset of my enemies, I have neglected to pay much attention to the mindset of my allies.
For over a year now I have had the pleasure of being well-received at Little Green Footballs due to my work with Charles Johnson on several issues as well as my own projects, which have generally coincided with the values shared in common by most of Johnson’s readers. Thus it is that I’m disappointed with the nature of the debate I’ve been having over the past couple of days with several individuals with whom I’ve shared mutual respect for a while now. Johnson himself has expressed concern over both Wikileaks and Anonymous, although I’ve found that, as always, he is open to considering those facts which I have brought to his attention and of which I am aware due to my longtime specialization in these issues. Unfortunately, others associated with that site seem to have approached this controversy by first deciding that Wikileaks is a negative for our civilization and thereafter defending that position by reference to demonstrably false assertions and in defiance of any facts that I and others have brought to the table.
Killgore Trout in particular has taken a particular stance to which I would like to bring attention as I think it is instructive. Last night Mr. Trout wrote a blog post in which I and other supporters of Wikileaks and Anonymous are taken to task, and which begins as follows:
I’m pretty much done taking Wikileaks supporters seriously. I’ve reluctantly listened to all the defenses and arguments from Assange supporters only to arrive back at my original conclusion that Wikileaks and their apologists have a few screws loose.
However Trout and others may feel, I have never listened to those whom I otherwise respect with any sort of “reluctance” merely because they are advocating a position with which I disagree.
A glimpse into Assange’s thinking can be found here. His goal is to collapse the American government’s ability to function.
Anyone who clicks the link will encounter the opinions of a man who supports the free market but opposes the mercantile circumstances which arrive when powerful entities being to collude with the state and take advantage of the state’s monopoly on violence - a monopoly which many of us consider to be unearned, particularly in light of the last ten years.
This sentiment was echoed by Barrett Brown on LGF earlier today: Anonymous and the Inevitable Fall of the Nation-State. I really liked Barrett and was very happy to have him posting on LGF. He’s a great personality and a wonderful writer but this misguided philosophy about creating chaos in order to bring about the destruction of “nation states” (namely the US) is not only nutty but unAmerican.
Here we encounter an opinion which, convenient as it may be to those who would like to discredit myself and others as having some special dislike for the U.S. government over other, much more unethical and statist governments, can be shown to be untrue very quickly (although of course it will lead others to criticize me further for having the audacity to point to my own work as evidence in the course of a discussion on my work that someone else has instigated). If I truly believed the U.S. government to act in a worse manner than any other, I would indeed be a fool. It is a fine thing, then, that I believe no such thing. No one need take my word, either; one need only compare the manner in which I behaved during my sole appearance on Fox News during which I praised the Founders and aspects of the American system in general and the First Amendment in particular to my more recent appearance on the Kremlin-funded Putin mouthpiece Russia Today, in which I disrupted the segment by insisting on giving a monologue regarding the FSB’s 1999 black-ops campaign (which in turn, bizarrely enough, has come to figure into this particular debate and which I shall thus address soon). There is a great deal of other evidence in my favor on this point, but at any rate, there is no extent to which I can praise America’s virtues that will prevent certain people from publicly denouncing me as being unjustifiably unAmerican so long as I criticize exceptional America in the course of criticizing Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, England, and The Netherlands.
Next, I am quoted in my own words, which I certainly prefer to having views ascribed to me.
Barrett made a telling comment #comments" target="_blank">here…..
“I think I see the world as it is, including our own government and institutions, in a bleaker manner than does 80 or 90 percent of the population, and as such I’m far more excited about the ongoing period of tumult, not being at all wedded to anything that might be broken as a result.”
The goal of Assange and his supporters is to destroy the America they hate. I will give credit to Barrett for a very accurate guess. Only an extremist fringe 22% of the population think Wikileaks is helpful.
The “tumult” which I here praise is in reference to those institutions which are responsible for the criminalization of some hundred million Americans for engaging in consensual “crimes” such as drug use and prostitution and which are elsewhere responsible for censorship, torture, irresponsible warfare that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands while achieving very little and draining several treasuries, the infiltration and further corruption of Third World governments, and any number of other things which I believe - and apparently I am in the minority on this - are worse than the practice of launching DDOS attacks. As for the small percentage of Americans that are in favor Wikileaks that Mr. Trouts thinks is important enough to cite in a short essay on the subject, I would merely note that half of Americans consider creationism to be more valid that the theory of evolution. I would also note that less than one percent of Americans knew anything about Wikileaks at the point when I began researching it, praising it, criticizing it, and promoting it. And now I am under criticism from a great number of people who know far less about the institution and its record than I have come to know by way of my very novel policy of examining facts before holding strong opinions, people who have routinely stated as fact things which are not facts at all and who are not at all ashamed at having done so.
This explains why the idea is so appealing to Ron Paul, the anti Israel creeps atanti-war-dot-com, and 9-11 Truthers like Andrew Napolitano and Vladimir Putinwho all cheer Wikileaks. These are all people who want to see the downfall of America for their own reasons and they all see Assange as a useful tool for that purpose.
At this point I will apologize to Trout for having criticized his reluctance to take the views of others seriously. I will likewise apologize to 80 percent of Americans.