Monday, December 27, 2010

You Know -- Them

Here's a fine representative example of the kind of American political discourse that makes me want to stop writing, stop reading, maybe bang my head against the wall for a few hours, and ... beyond that, I don't know. Anyway, it's a comment on a Glenn Greenwald post, and it reads:


Reports of how the Zionists and Cheney's inside CIA organization planned and carried out 9/11 in order to begin this entire coup.

This would have to include details of the stolen 2000 election, who prepared and edited the Patriot Act, and the names of all those who enriched themselves with the insider information.

Now that'd be some juicy readin'.
Short and sweet. "Zionists" is sort of the cherry on top, but the whole thing is precious, or as my old friend Grant would say, "precocious." Leave aside the Truther tinfoil hat stuff, but as I've asked such people in the past, if We already know that They "planned and carried out 9/11", who needs Wikileaks? I love the ambiguity of "this entire coup," too: does the writer think that things only began going bad after September 11, 2001, or even with Dubya taking the oath of office? It would seem so, but of course things were far from aboveboard before Bush ambled onto the scene. Were Cheney and the Zionists also behind the 1993 attempt to blow up the World Trade Center? Were they behind the Vietnam War, which involved government lying on a grand scale that was exposed with the publication of the Pentagon Papers? There was a lot of double-dealing in the leadup to World War II, and World War I for that matter. And how about the sinking of the Maine? Lincoln was as cagey about the reasons for quashing the Confederate Rebellion as either Bush was about either Iraq War. And those are just the highlights of US government malfeasance; there must be corresponding conspiracies in the past of every country that has ever existed.

Who edited and prepared the Patriot Act? I thought that was more or less public knowledge -- much of the Patriot Act had been on the Clinton administration's wish list, and was part of a bipartisan tradition of expanding government powers of surveillance, control and punishment over the general population. The same goes for the "details of the stolen 2000 election", about which a great deal has never been particularly secret, and has been published and analyzed. I'm sure there are details that haven't been released, but enough is already known to shake things up if enough citizens cared. (That's another of my pet peeves about the Truthers and others like JFK Assassination Buffs who chortle knowingly about the secret documents and records that We need to know about. I'm sure that there are lots of goodies locked away from public view, but there's enough evidence in the public domain to [paraphrasing Noam Chomsky] send every American President since World War II to the gallows. We already know that our leaders are vicious gangsters, they don't really make a secret of it, and probably the only way to get at the buried evidence is to start indicting them for the crimes we already know they've committed. But the Truthers and JFKers are curiously uninterested in such matters.)

But as I said, leave that aside. It's easy to dismiss this writer as just another Conspiracy Theorist, but he also uses the rhetoric of the corporate mainstream media and our government officials. "Them" can't refer to Wikileaks, who didn't leak the material now exciting so much commentary and controversy: Wikileaks receives the leaked material and publishes it to the Web, or through its media partners. But if you didn't already know that and cling firmly to the knowledge, you'd hardly know it from respectable commentators, who think that Wikileaks or Julian Assange himself leaked everything, or hacks into government computers and plunders the riches thereof, and therefore can decide what to leak. As Greenwald keeps reminding his readers, Wikileaks can only release and publish what other people send to them. And until someone leaks it, we (as opposed to We) don't know what is being kept from us. But a surprising amount of discrediting and even incriminating information is already Out There.