*edit, August 3, 2015 – I just finished the post a few hours ago and thought I’d go over it again. I don’t know how it happened that something I wrote, that I know I wrote, didn’t make it into the final version. Maybe I screwed up somehow. I explained the role of gatekeeping more fully, but I don’t see that here. What’s missing is the simple idea that gatekeeping keeps the people off balance, frustrated, angry and frightened. What the 1% wishes to not see is a united, focussed public that can more forcefully demand accountability, justice and democracy. It’s like being Greenpeace members in a dingy in the ocean, trying to stop destructive companies like Shell from doing the evil they like to do and finding themselves surrounded by much bigger boats, circling them and tossing their dingy around and threatening their lives, like the police boat that ran over a protester the other day in just such a situation. The exploiters and their instruments of force and repression have the people everywhere in a similar situation.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by John Pilger follows:
Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape wrote: “The allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction. …
“The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will. [Assange] has made it clear he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step in their investigation? What are they afraid of?”…
The injustice meted out to Assange is one of the reasons Parliament reformed the Extradition Act to prevent the misuse of the EAW. The draconian catch-all used against him could not happen now; charges would have to be brought and “questioning” would be insufficient grounds for extradition.
“His case has been won lock, stock and barrel,” Gareth Peirce told me, “these changes in the law mean that the UK now recognizes as correct everything that was argued in his case. Yet he does not benefit.” In other words, the change in the UK law in 2014 mean that Assange would have won his case and he would not have been forced to take refuge.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
This article by John Pilger is very important. It sums up nicely the whole persecution of Julian Assange conducted by the US and it’s tools. Clearly, The people are the enemy – when you see the 1% and it’s tools ferociously attack the people’s champions. If Wikileaks was a union, they would just corrupt the union leadership. But Wikileaks is a bona fide people’s champion and those who work for that org are principled and brave. I won’t say perfect. But no one is perfect.
The opposite of a ‘whistleblower’, like Wikileaks, is a ‘gatekeeper’ (http://bit.ly/1AyUpV0) like Marianne Ny or her once liberal, now neoliberal (fascist) government or her boss Claes Borgstrom or Anders Perklev or the terrorists in robes (including Barbara J. Rosthstein) that we see everywhere or Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd or Ken Pascoe or Luke Harding or David Leigh or David Cameron or William Hague or SAPO. Gatekeepers are those who get between the abused people and the abusive 1% and it’s tools, who don’t mind abusing the people but really don’t want to take responsibility for any of the trouble they cause. Any member of the 1% or any member of any corporatocracy organization (governments, militaries, media) can be a gatekeeper, even though the basic idea of gatekeeping is that the 1% uses others to keep the rabble from disturbing their peace. Sometimes the boss pitches in.
You have appointed (and therefore ‘paid’) and self-appointed gatekeepers, who can be absolutely anyone at all. Appointed gatekeepers will include those who are fully aware of their gatekeeping role, although that isn’t absolutely necessary. How can you tell when appointed gatekeepers know that their role is to speak soothing words to the powerful and otherwise keep the powerful from being too bothered by the rabble? Just a bit of common sense will suffice. When you see politicians and lawyers say and do the most outrageous things, including lawless and cruel things, then you know that those ones see themselves the same way that the conventional mafia’s ‘made’ men view themselves. They are ‘with’ the big guy, so watch it! Take the crap or else.
They may be regarded by uncaring colleagues and others who themselves are willing cogs in the monstrous machinery of corporatocracy as ‘professionals’, but they are in fact professional scam artists. The Australian Consul-General, Ken Pascoe, in a position to help move Julian Assange’s situation in one direction or another, casually claims that all that he knows about Julian’s situation comes from the media! He’s telling us that he’s a gangster. He’s telling us that he’s just another professional scam artist, a gatekeeper. And if we want to prove to him that we are just dumb cattle, we can buy it. Or we can discomfit him by labelling him properly. He probably doesn’t care one way or another. Afterall, He’s with the powerful 1%.
There’s some striking [conjunctions] here. Pilger writes: “Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape wrote: “The allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.”” Indeed. One need only read Malalai Joya’s account of the ‘liberation’ of Afghanistan to see the horrible truth of Katrin’s and Lisa’s statement about wars and occupations unleashing the hell of rape on women in occupied lands. Which is why our Canadian prime minister, who never misses a chance to flex Canadian military muscle – jumping for uncle Sam as high as he can before he’s even asked to – has studiously ignored Malalai. He doesn’t care so much about being caught in a lie, namely that the Canadian military is in Afghanistan for the women, since anyone who had such a concern wouldn’t lie every time he spoke. He just doesn’t want to bother taking questions about it and having to explain it.
“On May 21, 2007, Malalai Joya – the young MP dubbed “the bravest woman in Afghanistan” by the BBC – was unjustly suspended from the Afghan National Assembly. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Afghanistan on that day and, two years later, has still yet to make any statement about Joya’s mistreatment,” writes Derrick O’Keefe in his Rabble article titled “Harper’s hypocrisy: Two years of silence on Malalai Joya from Conservatives.” (http://bit.ly/1OYE0O8)
“The sad fact is that in Afghanistan, killing a woman is like killing a bird. The United States has tried to justify its occupation with rhetoric about “liberating” Afghan women, but we remain caged in our country, without access to justice and still ruled by women-hating criminals. Fundamentalists still preach that “a woman should be in her house or in the grave.” In most places it is still not safe for a woman to appear in public uncovered, or to walk on the street without a male relative. Girls are stills sold into marriage. Rape goes unpunished every day.” -pages 2 & 3 of “A Woman Among Warlords” by Malalai Joya (with help from Derrick O’Keefe)
I made the point on my own blog that, considering the frequency with which Malalai’s Afghan enemies call her a whore and a commie (suggesting to me that the males in Afghanistan too easily excuse their acts of rape by calling their victims whores, an occupation which does exist in Afghanistan because some women have absolutely no other way to survive), perhaps we can conclude that not only is Afghanistan not liberated, but it is not sexually liberated, to say the least. But Afghanistan, in my view, could use sexual liberation. That’s because sexual liberation includes the empowerment of women and the education of men, so that a woman’s ‘no’ means ‘no’ and the men who they say it to accept that. When Afghan rapists call their female targets whores ‘and’ commies, Well, that’s a really GREEN green light, since that’s what their Western supporters like to hear. Clients can’t ever engage in too much commie-bashing.
The theme of this comment, immanent in John Pilger’s article, is liberty. Liberty, clearly, belongs to those who have the ‘right’ political views. Gatekeepers, appointed and self-appointed, have the right political views when they serve those with more power than they possess. (They serve power by hindering, in any way, serious and not so serious, those who have the ‘wrong’ political views. Those who speak truth to power – notably whistleblowers and those, including journalists and writers – who defend them have the ‘wrong’ political views. That hindrance serves to create a buffer between the abusive 1% and it’s tools and the abused people who might like their abusers to explain themselves and take responsibility for the trouble they cause. Can’t have that.) That’s how it works in the gangster corporatocracy. That’s why Noam Chomsky refers to American foreign policy as, simply, policy that follows mafia principles (http://bit.ly/1ISYsRu). There’s no positive professionalism in the gangster corporatocracy and the mafia (neoliberal or fascist) capitalism it embraces. It’s not about what you know and the talent you bring to the table, where everyone with power figures out ways to make the world safe and prosperous for everyone. Instead, It’s about who you know and what you can do for those who you know who happen to have more power than you do, who can prosper and protect you, possibly, if you please them. This is what one former member of Stephen Harper’s government (Helena Guergis) said about the way politics works in Canada. “”Everyone tried to please him… I admit it, for a time I was one of them. There is so much jealousy amongst caucus – so pathetic – all hoping for some small recognition – recognition meaning favour with the Leader. He is the one who gives things out.”” -pages 187 & 188 of “Party Of One – Stephen Harper And Canada’s Radical Makeover” by Michael Harris. You want to rape little boys? No problem, as long as you serve power. “Some soldiers have told military chaplains and medical personnel that they were instructed to disregard the sodomy because of a “cultural difference” between Canada and Afghanistan.” – Rick Westhead, “Chaplain says senior officer aware of rapes by Afghans,” Toronto Star, December 4, 2008
But if you speak truth to power, if you expose the crimes of the powerful, you might actually be accused of rape that you haven’t committed. You might find yourself joining the multitude of victims who are viewed as criminals ‘because’ they are victims. That’s how it is in this upside down, godless, dark world.