Okay, confession guys, I'm still quietly freaking out about Julian Assange's safety. Yeah, I know, everyone says he's fine but I'm still looking for proof. My maternal instincts are going off right now and I can't seem to calm down. One of our babies could be in trouble. This mama bear needs to know he's okay.
Ever since that deadman's switch thingy got tweeted, all we've been given are some unconfirmed assurances, a video from 2012 of him on the balcony being circulated as current, and WikiLeaks' Twitter has been littered with weird typos and things like an uncharacteristic call for leakers to leak early and often, which was not reassuring in the least. In fact, it sounded an awful lot like bait to me.
Update: WikiLeaks has so far tweeted a very unsatisfactory statement on Julian's status at the embassy, and a poll asking what sort of proof of life their followers would be happy with. A poll?? What are we, your mom? You guys know how to supply proof of life, but your poll includes the option "picture" as though we live in a parallel universe where photoshop doesn't exist. You're not making us feel any better about Julian, guys. Please, just give us proof of life. A video where Julian references something current, signed with his PGP key. You guys are computer nerds. You know about this stuff. Or how about a press conference? Did he suddenly lose the ability to have those? Make with the goods.I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that I'm not alone in my anxiety. When police gathered outside the embassy yesterday, a group of hackers took down the entire East Coast's internet and most of the West Coast, hitting some specific Clinton-friendly website servers hardest as a warning shot.
Made me happy. The revenge of the nerds is real now. We have fire power.
WikiLeaks sent out a tweet saying that Julian's okay, they've made their point, and please restore internet to America. Like magic, the internet went back on.Then the news came out that Gavin MacFadyen, highly respected journalist and mentor for journalists everywhere, WikiLeaks director and right-hand man of Julian, died. A man who got arrested with Bernie Sanders and was writing articles up until last week. The man that everyone assumed had taken over WikiLeaks' Twitter when the Julian's internet went down. One of our finest.
No one is saying what of, or why. Just that he's dead. The pinned tweet at the top of WikiLeaks' Twitter is this, signed off "JA" but with another uncharacteristic typo, leaving out the capital F in MacFadyen's last name.This has been a very morbid year for WikiLeaks. That's the third death of one of their closest people. John Jones QC, WikiLeaks UN lawyer, died on April 16, Michael Ratner, WikiLeaks chief counsel, died on May 11, and now Gavin, his closest friend and confidant.
That's an old mobster tactic, you know. If you can't take out someone, you just kill all the people they love until they lose the will to keep fighting. I'm not saying that's what's happening, but let's just say I hope they're keeping a close eye on embassy cat.
And we're still not even sure if Julian is okay.
WikiLeaks just announced on Twitter that they will release a statement tomorrow but that's not what we want. We want proof of life. Just wave out the window Julian! Come on dude, we're worried about you.
And in any case, at the very least their Twitter seems compromised. Reddit is looking into the typos to see if they make a kind of code but even Reddit has been infiltrated by undercover Correct The Record mods lately so it's hard work getting anything done.
My biggest concern is for the leakers and their families. If they managed to get a hold of Julian and torture him (and there's no reason to believe they wouldn't, the Guardian reported how they tortured Chelsea Manning) then potentially hundreds more of our best humans are at risk.
These leakers have put their lives on the line for us already, throwing the truth as far over the fence as they can to alert us to the machinations of what Theodore Roosevelt called "the invisible government."
That's what really kills me about this "blame Russia" propaganda tactic. It's not only xenophobic, it doesn't just divert attention from her sins, and it's not only reprehensible and irresponsible to pin blame and allude to military consequences with no evidence because some truth came out that embarrassed your anointed queen. More important to me right now is that it also throws a blanket over the fact that leaks often come from internal sources.
What does internal sources mean? Well, it means that some poor soul who has managed to hold onto his morality in spite of working with monsters is sitting there in his cubicle, his eyes growing ever wider at the evil that is going on around him, and he decides to put his life at risk and do something about it. He or she puts the higher interest before their own safety and self-interest.
For no applause. No one will ever know it was them. No one will ever pay them for it. They get nothing from it except risk, and the knowledge that the truth always helps humanity, it never harms humanity. I can't think of a more selfless and courageous act. It is egoless bravery in action to benefit only the whole. These shining lights are exemplary humans. We will hopefully never know their names (because we only find out about the dead ones) but their brave deed advances humanity in the same way a vital scientific discovery does.
Chelsea Manning was tortured. Tortured. For shining a light on the evil of others. For acting in the highest interest of all humanity instead of keeping her head down and acting in her own self-interest. She got tortured for her bravery.
Snowden might never drive through Jack In The Box again for his service to humanity. Assange, if he's still alive, is going through intense physical and psychological suffering anyway, even without actual physical torture. Seth Rich, the man Assange alluded to on the Dutch news service Nieuwsuur as being the DNC leak well... I don't want to talk about that, that makes me too sad.Blabbing moronically about Russia and hackers extinguishes that untold story. No one is giving another thought to those brave souls singularly sitting right now in a cubicle somewhere quietly dying of anxiety inside, silently refreshing WikiLeaks' Twitter page for signs that Julian is okay. Their lives depend on his safety, too. Can we please remember that? My heart goes out to them at this time, my heart and my deepest gratitude for their service to the nation and the world at large.
This is the world we live in. These things are really happening right now. It's hella spooky. I wrote a piece when the deadman switch story first broke, and I titled it "Julian Assange Is The Safest Man On The Planet Right Now" because, despite Hillary's hilarious joke that they should drone him because he's a soft target, everyone with a brain knows that he could not be a harder target. Killing him would unite Basement Dwellers and Les Deplorables alike, and it may even awaken a sleepy liberal populace into paying attention for once.
Mea culpa. What I didn't count on when I wrote that piece is that Hillary's instincts are "terrible," "suboptimal" even by her own staff's admission in the emails. Compared to Obama, who has the palliative care model of smoothing the pillow on a dying world down pat, she gravitates towards creating attention-seeking chaos. She can't help herself. She loves stirring trouble. And she really gets off on death. The thrill of the kill is almost sexual for her.I wouldn't put it past her to think this was a good idea for them. It's not, of course. The leaks are still rolling out, and would still roll out. WikiLeaks is not one man, it's an open-source style community of thousands of people. The hierarchical model of leadership is dead and done in internet culture, and the idea that taking out Julian would kill off the whole movement is pure projection on their part. Just because that's how their dinky little old-school systems work, doesn't mean it's how ours do. They really do not understand internet culture. That much is apparent from the emails. The Bernie phenomena was totally befuddling to them to the point where they would even mistake a meme for something official from his media unit. At which point I would've loved to have been there to say to them "Do you even internet bro?" but they wouldn't have understood that either.
John Podesta has one password for everything. Even after his own personal emails were released on WikiLeaks, he didn't change it. Daily Kos reports it was written in one of the emails, and he didn't think to change it. Only after a naughty 4channer logged in to his Twitter and waved hello to his other naughty 4chan friends did Podesta think to change his one password.
I mean, wow. This guy is going to lead the world with her very soon. This is the caliber of thinker we're getting to lead us into the digital age.
So she's not the only one who has no idea about how the internet works in her little echo chamber of noddies who enable her weird chaotic agenda. They're all a bit dumb that way.
But still, hasn't someone stood up to her and bowed and scraped and all that and then, after a lengthy introduction of how her beauty and power knows no equal, said to her "Ma'am, oh gracious one of fire and forked tongue, do you think that maybe killing this one man who has come to represent transparency in government for so many, might be a little hasty? And perhaps a little counter-productive? I say this with the greatest respect in my heart for your intelligence and wisdom oh Queen, please do not make me accidentally shoot myself in the back of the head three times."
Anyone can see, it will be the end of the elite's stranglehold over government power. A fire will roar through the halls of the executive branches such as they've never seen, and she will be to blame.
But good luck trying to get her to cop to it.
[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]