"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Dec 16, 2010

Crow Flies Crooked

The comrades are pissed. The Espionage Act is in the news. Teeth have been gnashed, garments rent. Assange lionized into no less than Spartacus. But I couldn't be happier.

Because the damned thing criminalizes everything, in our information glutted Western world. The cabal of capitalist stooges in the federal state already have the power and authority to declare, by fiat alone, that a person is a murderable enemy of that same gaggle of factions. So what could be a better development than the one which puts a high school hacker in the same sentence as Big Bill Haywood and Red Emma?

Them as would rule have had these proscriptions for nearly a hundred years, already:

(a) whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defence with intent or reason to believe that the information to be obtained is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information, concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defence, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, coaling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, or other place connected with the national defence, owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control or the United States, or of any of its officers or agents, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired. or stored, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place within the meaning of section six of this title; or

(b) whoever for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts, or induces or aids another to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing or note of anything connected with the national defence; or

(c) whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts or induces or aids another to receive or obtain from any other person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defence, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts or induces or aids another to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this title; or

(d) whoever, lawfully or unlawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defence, wilfully communicates or transmits or attempts to communicate or transmit the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e) whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, note, or information, relating to the national defence, through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be list, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or both

Everything is national security and national defense. There's nothing which cannot be sheltered under that expansive umbrella. Any declaration, property, secret or decision by the government can fall under the protection of that aegis, and on executive declaration alone.

We live in a national security state.

Why not welcome the application of an already insidious and hateful law to the criminalization of so wide a swath of existing public communication, introducing millions to intimate complicity? We already know that it won't be universally enforced, right? But it will get a lot of press, especially if someone like Assange or Manning gets a show trial (and I wouldn't take the most favorable bet against that).

A new application of a stupid law which makes tens of millions of people potential and alienated criminals?

That's beautiful.

I love it when the fools make such obviously stupid decisions. There ain't nuthin' better for corroding faith in the rule of law than a law which criminalizes anything the powers want, costs the state credibility and credit to enforce, and which is then used arbitrarily.

The naked desperation of appealing to the anti-wobbly law happy makes my broken heart. Gawds imaginary, fools, please stir up the ghosts of Debs and Red Emma with her whip...

..and in other news, if Christianity as a faith and a set of practices was ever going to set the captives free and change the moral nature of women and men, two thousand years is a long enough sample period for the collection of data sufficient to determining the aforementioned claims.

Christianity does not deliver on its most basic promises.

I see no reason to treat with fellow workers who Christ up as anything but comrades - but their methods don't work. They pacify. When what we need are people who are done with passivity, happy-happy dialogue, good feelings about "coworkers" who would cut a throat to get a raise, a faith in messaging and a pleasant regard for the bosses among us...


C-Nihilist said...

is this going to go on my permanent record?

it reminds me of the crackdown on music sharing. you're all criminals! i pity the hapless handful who get hemmed up in the test cases.

i expect this wikileaks shake-up will be used to kill net neutrality and attempt to control internet content through providers.

Jack Crow said...

I'd wager net neutrality was already dead because the big firms want the best deal. Wikileaks might be a pretext, but I'm not sure it's coffin nail.

And yeah - wouldn't want to be the independent journalist who has no lawyers and no corporate muscle to protect him from Uncle.



C-Nihilist said...

yes. wikileaks shake-up will be used as the rationale to kill net neutrality. the firms want it, the pols want to give it to them. all they need is a way of talking about it.

Will Shetterly said...

There are Christians who get arrested in the struggle against capitalism. Maybe not a lot, but the existence of rich socialists and anarchists doesn't discredit those movements, either. Capitalism appropriates and commodifies everything. How much money did V For Vendetta make?

And how can you beat a pithy saying like "Woe to the rich!"?

Will Shetterly said...

P.S. I would agree that most forms of organized Christianity would appall Jesus and his first followers.

Almost totally unrelated: there's an eleven million dollar Christmas tree in a hotel in, I think, Dubai. It's so wrong I can't even begin to talk about it.

Jack Crow said...


I wish there were more Berrigans, Hennacys and Days. Berdyaev is almost unknown.

But I think they are the exception - and have been since the Anabaptists and Ranters lost out to the first burghers.

With respect,