Prior to the 2016 Presidential Election, discussion of Fourth Amendment Rights and Wikileaks was hardly the media’s favorite topic. When Tunisia’s Authoritarian Ruler, Ben Ali, was deposed, people hardly cared why. In fact, most Americans asked little questions regarding Ben Ali’s fall from power. He was a dictator and it was only natural that a dictator be overthrown from power. This consensus was extraordinarily reductive. Without Wikileaks, Ben Ali would likely still be in power. The publication of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks “helped fuel the anger on the streets that culminated Friday with Mr. Ben Ali’s flight”. The Wikileaks publication and Ben Ali’s deposition in 2010 led to a catastrophic series of regime changes in the Arab region.
By D-Ray a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
At the time, commentators naively referred to the Wikileaks inspired revolution as ‘The Arab Spring‘. They speculated a new generation of secular, progressive Arabs would bring meaningful change to the MiddleEast. This calculation proved to be horribly wrong. Had these commentators exercised more sagacity, they would have seen that such widespread change would lead to chaos and unmitigated fundamentalism. Unsurprisingly, the State Department, led by Hillary Clinton, failed to accurately assess the implications of such a revolution.
Clinton’s failure to manage the Wikileaks inspired revolution led to her most notable scandal as Secretary of State: the 2012 Benghazi Attack. Following the outrage of the carnage, the House Select Committee on Benghazi investigated Hillary Clinton. In 2014, the Committee discovered Clinton had used a private email server in her communications as Secretary of State. Two years later, at the height of the 2016 Presidential Election, Wikileaks released the contents of Hillary’s server.
The Nixon Irony
Despite the best efforts of the media, the public became aware of Hillary’s misconduct as Secretary of State. Among other things, the Wikileaks evidence suggested Clinton mishandled classified information, colluded with members of the media, and fostered questionable relationships with foreign governments and private corporations. While Hillary was never formally indicted, it became clear, even to the most liberal commentators, that she flirted dangerously close with a criminal line.
Although the media has an annoying tendency to add the suffix ‘gate’ to anything remotely scandalous, the comparisons between Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon are incredibly germane. In a similar manner, the comparisons between Nixon’s thorn, Daniel Ellsberg, and Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, are appropriate. To be sure, some distinctions must be made. Julian Assange’s leaks, especially those regarding National Security, represent a massive amount of raw, unprocessed data while Ellsberg’s leak was a summarized account of failures in Vietnam. Furthermore, the manner in which Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, through the New York Times, provided a medium in which sensitive data was withheld. In this manner, the Pentagon Papers constituted a far more benign leak.
Some have condemned Assange’s leaks on US Military operations as treasonous and irresponsible. Many of these same critics point to Ellsberg and claim Assange should have released his data through a reputable news source. In this manner, data sensitive to matters of National Security would be withheld. Prior to Hillary’s Email Scandal, this argument was tenable. Hillary’s scandal proved something incredibly disturbing: most ‘reputable’ outlets were colluding with Clinton’s campaign in a manner totally antithetical to journalistic ethics. Assange realized something most Americans would have refused to believe prior to the Fall of 2016, the media is wholly corrupt. At some point, ostensibly objective news organizations assumed the function of Super PACs. Had Assange followed in the footsteps of Ellsberg and trusted the New York Times to publish, the editors at the Times would have deleted any damning information regarding Hillary Clinton.
There is no doubt that Wikileaks endeavors have compromised the security objectives of the United States. While some have condemned Wikileaks, the organization’s actions are, in my opinion, justifiable. In an era where the government has no respect for the privacy of citizens, it is refreshing to see Wikileaks invade the privacy of officials. On a less petty level, Wikileaks has done what the media fails to do: report in a complete, objective, and unbiased manner.
When Time Magazine named Donald Trump the Time Person of the Year, Drudge Report quipped, “make media great again?”. I’m not so sure what to make of this. While traditional media outlets displayed an unprecedented amount of bias during this election cycle, voters were able to gather news from a great variety of sources. Wikileaks showed voters more about any one candidate than we have ever seen before. This is the paradox of the information age: the media has never been this bad but we have never had so much transparency.
Trump’s election caught many in the media and Washington by surprise. When the dust settled, the left began to ask questions: how did Trump beat out an overwhelmingly biased media narrative to become President-Elect? Put simply, the American Public didn’t buy the narrative of the mainstream media. When major media outlets refused to discuss the details of Wikileaks and Clinton’s emails, people began to question the validity of traditional news. Public faith in the media collapsed and Americans began to consume news from less traditional outlets.
In an attempt to save their mendacious journalism machine, the left has launched a crusade against ‘fake news’. Nobody can define what constitutes ‘fake news’. It is a buzzword and political tool. This is a sad and desperate attempt to limit the free discourse of ideas and speech. Obama’s condemnation of ‘fake news’ isn’t a plea to restore journalistic ethics, it is an Orwellian attempt to shut down ideas seen as troublesome or dangerous. The left would love to delegitimize anything they disagree with as fake. In our information age, they will have an impossible time controlling information. Wikileaks and those like it will continue to champion free speech while traditional media outlets atrophy.
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