Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Irving Wallace's The Man

One of the most powerful and compelling books that I remember having to read in high school was The Man by Irving Wallace. The dramatic novel gives an inside look at the high stakes political action inside the Beltway. It is the story of Douglas Dilman, the first black man to become president, in this case through fluke in that the president is killed in a freak accident overseas while the vice presidency is vacant. Through the laws of succession Senator Dilman rises to the Oval Office.

Being president is challenge enough, but being a black president in a highly bigoted culture is an even greater burden. And it isn't long before those who are out to get him set him up.


Much of the tension revolves around an incident in which Dilman is accused of assaulting a white woman. It's a setup job, but it shows the extremes to which the bad guys will go to get him out of office, to muffle his voice, to trash his character.

The media, too, get on board, relishing the opportunity to have a story. There are smears and sneers and jeers, and (I don't remember them but undoubtedly) a few tears.

Fast forward, 2010.

If WikiLeaks is not the biggest story of 2010, it certainly has to rank high on the list of big stories. I do not know enough about Julian Assange to call him good or evil and have not done my due diligence in dissecting the ethics of what he's been doing. I only know that when the latest charges were brought up, the allegations of rape, Irving Wallace's novel came to mind.

The irony is that as Assange brings to light documents that put our government officials in a bad light, journalists are shining a light on Assange that puts his own character in a bad light. At the end of the day one wonders, where are the heroes here? But then, as with President Dilman, what if there were no sex crimes committed at all?

These are high stakes games being played and who among us even knows what the truth is. Except that we know there's a lot of fog and obfuscation out there right now. White noise and a ball of confusion.

Just thinking out loud. What a long strange trip it's been.


LEWagner said...

That's a novel approach.
So if Assange is actually guilty of the sexual allegations in Sweden, that would somehow make the leaks less authentic?
The leaks aren't a "setup" accusing Obama of anything sexual, either, but are actual cables and military dispatches clearly proving that Obama is the Commander in Chief of a military that has been and is committing egregious war crimes.
No one that I have read yet has any suggestion that the leaks are not authentic. Even the Attorney General and Secretary of State haven't claimed that. All they've claimed is that they're classified Secret, and that it's illegal to publish them.
Unless you have any conflicting information everyone else has missed about the cables and dispatches being a false "setup" to discredit a black president, it's you who are dreaming up a "white noise and a ball of confusion" about their truth.

ENNYMAN said...

I think you missed my point. I was comparing Assange to President Dilman's situation in that the sexual allegations were designed to discredit Assange.

The point I was trying to make was that the allegations reminded me of the book I'd read long ago. I was definitely not in any way accusing President Obama of anything here.

I was not suggesting that the leaks are less authentic either. What I thought I was saying was that by focusing on Assange's misdeeds the fog-makers would, by misdirection, distract people from studying the leaks in more detail.

My apologies if this was not clearer. The point was that from a distance we can't always know what is true initially when the media present things to the public...

Anonymous said...

I have been watching all the news on this and everything going on all around the world and this is my conclusion,its sad to know this great country has come to be this way/and by that I mean a (bully)if there is one thing growing up we all as men have learned is a bully is sooner or later going down,and whats even worse is that every one in the company of the bully will have to suffer with them.that my friend would be us and our families.When our government starts doing as terrorist do that makes them terrorist too we are suppose to be better than that/stronger and humane.

ENNYMAN said...

Yes, that concerns me, too.

LEWagner said...

"What I thought I was saying was that by focusing on Assange's misdeeds the fog-makers would, by misdirection, distract people from studying the leaks in more detail."

That's what they're trying to do, I think so too.