One aspect of political life I especially dislike is the eagerness with which many join the wolfpack when the polling pendulum swings their way.
When many Americans became justifiably alarmed at the astonishing crudeness, bigotry, never-ending lies, and demonstrably crooked behavior of President Donald Trump, every device used by organizations or persons to assist his campaigns or hurt his opponents became the focus of raging hatred and accusations of treason.
Notable in this regard is Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. Because that organization had published stolen emails disclosing unflattering behavior by Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 presidential election, Trump haters, their ranks swelled by Clintonistas and liberal media, have described Assange as an international criminal who deserves imprisonment.
In this mob frenzy, self-described progressives and their cable news favorite hosts have willingly forgotten that Assange had created WikiLeaks to expose the secret, suppressed, execrable, cruel, torturous behavior of influential nations notably including the U.S. Yes, the hushed-up behavior of former Secretary of State, then-presidential candidate Clinton was one target.
There were many others. Assange’s mission was aided, perhaps even totally enabled, by the kind of whistleblower liberals on other occasions celebrate and hope to protect — those like Edward Snowden who exposed shameful government actions and policies that were largely protected by “confidential” designations.
Private Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning, for instance, had given WikiLeaks thousands of suppressed documents, including the film of American military personnel purposely — and laughingly — murdering an innocent journalist via drone strike.
Chalk up one for disclosure of moral shame, right? “Oh but that was then; this is now!”
Among those I admire in this atmosphere are Glenn Greenwald and staff of his publication The Intercept: journalist-commentators who don’t buckle as to their previous opinions when the tide turns.
Yes, the Trump-excoriated FBI has engaged in secret, shameful behavior. Yes, the liberal cable news “consultant” James Clapper, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence, lied to Congress under oath that there was no metadata program spying on U.S. citizens, maintained under the aegis of Barack Obama. Yes, General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, lied in 2012 that the NSA does not hold data on U.S. citizens.
In World War I, those with German names were loathed and attacked; in World War II, loyal Japanese Americans were imprisoned.
In 2019, a like atmosphere prevails among liberals in this country. Not many stand against the tide.
In recent comments re legal proceedings under her jurisdiction, Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson said: “In this court, facts matter.”
In the court of public opinion, however, there appears another story.