Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wikileaks: Santa will NOT be arriving at Waikiki on December 11 by canoe
by Larry Geller
US Claims Next WikiLeaks Release Will ‘Put Lives in Danger’
James Jeffrey, the current US Ambassador to Iraq, angrily condemned WikiLeaks today, insisting that the upcoming release would do damage to his ability to have discussions in confidence. Other US officials have been covering the globe, apologizing in advance for what are said to be a large number of embarrassing revelations to come. [antiwar.com, 11/26/20100]
Come again? Information that may help end the US government’s endless wars “will put lives in danger?” Think of all the lives that will be saved, maybe hundreds of thousands or millions of innocent civilian lives.
Imagine the lives that could have been saved if Kissinger had been stopped by a Wikileaks revelation of the secret US carpet bombing of civilians in Cambodia.
But some people will believe that Wikileaks endangers lives simply because it is the voice of Authority speaking.
Why are we so gullible? Blame our parents. They set us up. And parents today are doing the same.
With apologies for condensing the theory of child development into two paragraphs, it began when mommy left the baby alone for the first time, but came back later. Baby was anxious (separation anxiety, I think they call it), but it was ok in the end, mommy came back. After a few reinforcing repetitions, baby learned to “trust.”
Which brings us to Santa Claus. Having firmly established that little kids must trust their parents, the next step is to introduce Santa Claus. Santa is some big fat guy in a padded red-and-white suit and full white beard who can nevertheless fit down that narrow filthy chimney, deliver toys, wriggle back up, and fly away in a sleigh powered not by renewable biofuel but by a bunch of reindeer. And the process is repeated for each household everywhere in the world. At least, the goodies are delivered into reusable stockings hung near the fireplace and not into plastic bags. But I digress.
So children learn to either be good or to be good at pretending to be good. They tell the mall Santa that they’ve been good. When they get their toys on Christmas day, they’ve learned that it’s possible to cheat and win, and to beat authority. All valuable lessons to navigate the adult world.
Generation after generation still believes in Santa Claus and the whole shtick. Their kids will be taken to Waikiki to see Santa arriving by canoe. They’ll text Santa with their gift list.
Of course, some day they learn that there is no Santa Claus. It was all one long-running lie.
Nevertheless, they’ll repeat the process for their own children, having learned that it’s not so bad to lie, in fact, it can be a profitable skill the kids should develop.
The truth has the potential to short-circuit this whole enterprise. If Wikileaks ever tweeted “there is no Santa Clause” to children across the country, it could be disruptive indeed.
Next, Wikileaks could tweet to adults proof that the US isn’t going to leave Afghanistan, that there is no plan to do so, and certainly we wouldn’t leave before we get the oil wells and pipelines installed. If there had been a Wikileaks in 2003, perhaps they could have texted the truth that there were no WMDs in Iraq.
Perhaps the US government’s endless wars would end.
disclosing the names of confidential informants to the low level diplomats who wrote those cables is only punitive for people who cooperate with the US in regimes that totally disregard the human rights framework. we can only thank the global newspapers that got the document dump for not just simply putting everything on the web. someone's confidential relationship with low level US diplomatic staff should not become a death sentence in the name of some higher principle. especially when the disclosure of their names is not necessary for the purposes of transparency.
i think the global newspaper and WikiLeaks commitment to redacting names of native informants is responsible disclosure in this case.