Tag Archives: Julian Assange

US “Intel” Report on “Putin-Ordered” “Hacking of US Election”: Same Lies, Shouted Louder This Time

Last week the badly misnamed United States “Intelligence Community”, whose repeated massive failures to do their “jobs” have resulted in (to name just the two most infamous) the attack on 9/11 and the monstrous war against Iraq, released a pathetic evidence-free 25-page report attempting once again to link the Russian government of Vladimir Putin directly to alleged attempts by his government to interfere and even to “hack” the US electoral process in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Not surprisingly, once again they failed to produce even the slightest evidence to back their outrageous claims against Russia – an extremely dangerous attempt to essentially assert that an act of war has been committed by the Russian Government against the USA.  In their mad determination to maintain their military and economic hegemony over the entire world, the US capitalist class and their government – who can’t even run a medium-sized city like Detroit without fucking it up – think that they have the “right” to run the entire planet as their very own combination slave plantation and personal piggy bank.  Angered at their inability to add Syria to the long list of Middle Eastern nation-states they have turned into free-fire zones (thanks largely to Russia’s military support for the brutal Assad regime), the United States capitalist class seems to have given their bought-and-paid-for Senators and Congressmen and the lame-duck Obama Administration the green light to launch a propaganda war against Russia that seems intended to start WWIII!  Fortunately for the world, Vladimir Putin’s government has not responded to the “lesser evil” Democrat Obama’s attacks in kind.

Having just had their asses handed to them in the recent US Presidential elections (in spite of their spending a couple of billion dollars to make their pet Hillary the first female President) the US capitalist class is in a rage.  Rodham Clinton – the heavy favorite to win the latest phony presidential “election” in the USA – had her coronation rudely canceled, not by WikiLeaks, not by the “evil empire”of Putin, but by the Libertarian and Green Parties, who, by securing over 5% of the vote in key states handed Donald Trump the electoral votes he needed to win.  But this reality can not be acknowledged by the US capitalist class because to admit that it was the poorly-funded third parties right here in the USA that annulled their supposedly magical money-power to elect whomever they choose to the highest office in the land means that they must admit that the days of dead-end two-party politics, controlled entirely by the wealthiest 10% of US citizens is OVER.  So, to cover up the fact that the suposedly invincible US capitalist class is losing control over its own fake “democracy” in the US, they have promulgated the Big Lie that it was the evil Russian Putin who “stole the election” which the US greedhead class thought they had once again bought for themselves “fair and square”.

The Obama Administration and their Republican allies in Congress are shouting in unison that WikiLeaks and Putin conspired to “hack” the US electoral process.  This ridiculous assertion falls on its face at the very first hurdle.  There is not the tiniest bit of evidence that WikiLeaks has colluded with the Russians in any way, and the US “Intelligence Community” reports have not provided a shred of actual evidence proving this assertion.  Likewise, they have not been able to find any kind of “smoking gun” evidence proving that the Russians did anything other than publicly avow their preference for a Trump victory over Clinton, for a vast number of very good reasons.  Hillary Clinton’s brutal record of destabilizing the entire Middle East and their sinister support for the Nazi-ridden, anti-Russian government of the Ukraine while she was Secretary of State alone provide enough plainly justifyable reasons why the Russians would prefer Anyone But Clinton.  But Trump’s wholly unsolicited public statements of admiration for the autocrat Putin gave the Russians plenty of reasons to prefer a Trump win.  Politicians, governments and media pundits all over the world picked their favorite candidates and publicly stated their preferences.  What makes Putin and his nation’s propagandists doing the same thing so special?  When the United States wants to make its preferences known in foreign elections it finds many ways to do it – publicly and privately – and makes no bones about it, unless the US “Intelligence Community” decides an assassination or two are in order, of course.

Did the Russians hack Hillary Clinton’s illegal, secret and poorly defended email server and those of her campaign manager John Podesta and others and turn over the docs to WikiLeaks  to use against Hillary Clinton as the US Government claims? According to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, the answer is an emphatic “no”.

(Watch the full interview below:)

During an interview with right-wing blowhard Sean Hannity broadcast on Hannity’s TV show last week, Assange repeatedly denied that WikiLeaks received the Podesta or Clinton emails “from any state party”.  Hannity pounded away on this point, asking Assange several times from several different angles during the interview to deny that there was any Russian Government link to the WikiLeaks revelations that proved so damaging to Clinton’s Presidential cakewalk; and every time he did, Assange firmly stated that there was no Russian government involvement in the leaks.

So, who should we believe: the US Government or Julian Assange?  Assange has a long record for telling the truth; the US Government “Intelligence” agencies have a much longer record of systematically lying to the public and even lying under oath during Congressional testimony!  Not surprisingly, current polls show that in spite of years of a massive US Government-orchestrated propaganda campaign to discredit WikiLeaks as an organization and Assange personally, a large percentage of the US population trusts Assange and WikiLeaks more than they trust the US Government officialdom!  This, too is another sign that the ability of the US capitalist class to fool the US working class with their endless pro-capitalist propaganda and lies is wearing thin.  The Internet in general, and courageous hackers, whistleblowers and information outlets like WikiLeaks have made it very difficult for any government to successfully lie to its own citizens for any length of time.  The exposes of their lies occur almost immediately as soon as the words trill off their lying tongues, entirely bypassing what has been for more than a century the carefully constructed and fraudulent “impartial” bourgeois press’ self-imposed pro-government censorship.  The top bourgeois press mouthpieces of the US capitalist class – the New York Times and the Washington Post – have in recent weeks been repeatedly caught spreading lying pro-government propaganda within 24 hours of the attempt.  The US capitalist class (less than 10% of the US’ ~4.5% of the world population) which thinks it can run the world in its own greedy self-interest – in the name of “Democracy”(TM), of course! – is rapidly losing control of its home wage-slave plantation.  And so the capitalists, always living in mortal fear that their long-exploited worker-victims will finally wise up to their tricks are losing their minds, lashing out at the Russians in a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that the “all-powerful” US capitalist class can’t even rig their own domestic elections any more!

The new “Intelligence” report is based upon alleged “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections developed by three US intelligence agencies: the US Government’s political police (the Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI); the foreign intelligence, propaganda and assassinations branch of the US Government (the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency – CIA); and the communications spy agency known as the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  In spite of this the report is supposed to be evidence of openness and transparency in the US Government (try not to laugh).  In fact, the only thing about it that is “open and transparent” is that it is an open and transparent attempt to lie once again to the world – and especially to the workers of the USA – that the Russians essentially made Donald Trump President of the United States!  If you believe that whopper, we have a small herd of unicorns we’d like to sell you!  (They lay golden eggs!)

The Intel report (link available at end of article) is supposed to be identical to the “top secret” report given to US Assassin-in-Chief Obama… but with all the actual alleged “evidence” stripped out of it.  So, once again, the US working class and the entire world is supposed to “take the US Government’s word for it” that the evidence actually exists.  The problem is that these scumbags have lied to the UN, their NATO allies, the entire world to justify their massive crimes against humanity, like the murderous and unprovoked war against Iraq which cost that nation the lives of well over a million of its citizens and reduced it to a state of barbarism – all so the US capitalist class and their British co-conspirators could stuff their pockets with profits stolen from the Iraqi oil fields.  No one in their right mind would believe a thing the US Government says after the debacle over their fraudulent claims of Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of “mobile bioweapon labs” and an arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction” that turned out to be entirely imaginary.

What the new. slightly less-censored report DOES demonstrate is that the one branch of the US’ so-called “intelligence community” that would have been able to obtain bona fide “smoking gun evidence” of Putin having ordered the hacking of the US elections – the US National Security Agency – HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE SUCH EVIDENCE!  In fact, out of the three major US intel agencies whose assessments of the results of the entirety of their agencies’ collective massive spying operations being waged against Russia 24/7/365 led to the “overall” conclusion that the Russian Government was involved in “hacking the US elections”, it is the NSA that has the lowest level of confidence in the “evidence”!

It is typical in these types of validity assessments of “intelligence community” research on a subject that each agency report the level of confidence it has in its own assessment.  There are huge internal fights over these characterizations of the validity of the ‘evidence” presented.  In the run-up to the Iraq War, a significant number of CIA analysts fought to have their low opinion of the quality of the “evidence” for the existence of Saddam’s “WMD” arsenal and his attempts to obtain nuclear-weapons-grade materials brought to the attention of then-President Bush via the multi-intel-agency assessments of the Iraq WMD evidence.  Their criticisms were censored out of the report given to President Bush at the insistence of their own agency heads and key Administration officials hell-bent on war.  So any time we see, especially in a “declassified” document like this latest one an assertion from one of the key intel agencies that their level of confidence in the validity of the conclusions of the report differ from that of the other agencies, we take notice of that.  In this latest report, it is the agency that would most likely be the one whose intrusive spying operations would produce such evidence (involving the precise type of hacking of government agencies and politicians emails that the US Government is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them!) asserts that in at least one key conclusion of the report, the NSA has only “moderate confidence” in the “evidence”!

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: "Intelligence Community Assessment - Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections", 6 January 2017 (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: “Intelligence Community Assessment – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”, 6 January 2017, p. ii (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

The report gives us a helpful graphic which shows how to interpret the meaning of what a SpySpeak “moderate level of confidence” actually means in common English:

ODNI report defines "levels of confidence" - Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

ODNI report defines “levels of confidence” – Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

So now we can see that a “moderate level of confidence” in the evidence – as asserted by the NSA’s analysts regarding one of the central claims of the report – means “even odds” that the information is either a) true or b) pure horseshit.  The brain trust at NSA were unable to decide which.

So we know from this supposedly “unanimous” intel assessment that in at least one key aspect of the conclusions there was a significant difference of opinion so great that the less-confident section of the NSA analysts insisted that their lack of confidence be openly stated in the report.  This was probably not something that was very easy to have included in a declassified report that was being used as propaganda to demonstrate complete confidence in the allegations against the Russians; and was almost certainly insisted upon as a condition of the NSA agreeing to put their stamp of approval of the US Intel collective’s “high confidence” in the assertions made in the report.  The claim that all three agencies were “unanimous” in their “high confidence” of the assertions made based on the “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections… was itself a lie!

Quel surprise!: the US Government continues to lie to the world and especially to the working class of the USA, who must be kept in a state of fear and confusion at all times regardless of how stupid it makes the population of the USA look to the rest of the world and how venal and ruthless it makes the US government look.  What else is new?

The fact is that the US capitalist class and its “intelligence agencies” are engaged in funneling money to military leaders and politicians and buying journalists in every nation in the world 24/7/365.  Everything the US is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them the US  Government has done in every country in the world, from the Dominican Republic to Germany.  The CIA doesn’t stop at merely disseminating pro-US propaganda to bolster the foreign dictators the US supports; hires thugs to beat up communist and socialist political party workers; it trains death squads to kill union leaders and political activists of the working class;  and it does not to hesitate to ‘interfere” in foreign elections using every tool from slander to assassination to “eliminate” political leaders it does not like in a continuous effort to “defend American interests” (read: foreign investments by the US capitalist class) in every country on Earth.  The revelation by Edward Snowden of the US’ massive spying operations being waged by the US Government against its own allies, which include hacking into the cell phones of leaders and even of collecting DNA specimens from UN representatives shows that all of this reckless anti-Russian propaganda is nothing but a case of “the pot calling the kettle ‘black'”.  Only here in the USA, where the slavish US wage/debt/credit slaves keep themselves safely uninformed about what their own ruling class’ government is up to, does this thoroughly hypocritical campaign of lies carry any weight.  The workers all over the rest of the world laugh out loud in the face of the US Government’s massive shedding of crocodile’s tears over “poor little USA” merely having its own elections tampered with by the preferred news media outlet of Russia, when what the United Styates routinely does to interfere in foreign elections is far worse – by several orders of magnitude!  The wailing of US Government officials over “Russian tampering” in the 2016 US election is really too ridiculous for words!

The US “intel community” report also expresses the US capitalist class’ fury at the fact that it no longer can control the news being presented to the US working class via their wholly-owned-and-operated de facto government propaganda outlets of the domestic US bourgeois press.  They are particularly furious that the Russians have created a TV station that is popular in the USA and which boldly dares to disseminate pro-Russian propaganda – just as the US and the UK capitalist class governments do via Radio Free Europe, the Voice of America, the BBC, CNN and a host of other propaganda outlets!  It is quite amusing to hear the United States Government bleat about how “Russia Today”‘s US-focused “RT” network is spreading pernicious lies (actually mostly the truth) about the US Government to US workers when the US has been doing the opposite thing (spreading mostly lies) to the Russians since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917!  It is hilarious to hear the Big Criminals of the US capitalist class crying about how the Little Criminals in the Russian Government have “stolen” what they have always believed to be the US’ proprietary propaganda methods and are now using them to undermine US workers’ alleged “confidence in the US Government” precisely the same way that the US propaganda outlets have done and continue to do to Russia, Syria, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and every other regime they do not like!  Poor babies!

The fact is that the coronation of the US capitalist class candidate of choice the bought-and-paid-for shill of Wall St., Hillary Rodham Clinton was torpedoed not because too many US voters were brainwashed by watching (mostly truthful) RT exposes – based on the WikiLeaks and other revelations – of the undemocratic methods Hillary Rodham Clinton was using against the Bernie Sanders campaign to secure her nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.  Hillary Rodham Clinton was defeated because enough voters were convinced of her corruption and venality, her bloodthirstiness, her unsuitability to hold the nation’s highest office that a couple million of them in key states voted for third-party candidates because they found her simply to be repulsive!  Clinton had her candidacy torpedoed not by “Russian spies” or by Julian Assange but by the exposing of her coquettish courting of Wall St. speculators and bankers and other corporate criminals.  The US citizens who are so fed up with the same old bullshit from the Democrats and the Republicans that enough of them voted for Libertarian and Green Party candidates to shoot Clinton’s Presidential hopes to tatters – hopefully once and for all time!

This election, we believe, signals the beginning of the end of the two-party system in the USA and the advent of the rise of third parties capable of winning enough votes from the thoroughly discredited twin parties owned and operated by the US capitalist class to throw every future US election up for grabs.  This is the second time in 20 years that third parties garnered enough votes in key states to completely overthrow the carefully-laid-and-paid-for fraud of a US Presidential election.  Finally, US citizens are starting to vote their conscience rather than just voting for whoever they think will win.  But this passive strategy of voting for whatever half-bright third-party candidate shows up in an election who is not a Democrat or Republican will not magically produce candidates that truly represent the interests of the working class.  The Libertarian Party, for example, is not a pro-working-class party but is in fact a right-wing pro-capitalist party whose ideological ancestry can be traced back to that idiot tool of the capitalist class Ayn Rand – a “philosophy” that seriously asserts that selfishness is among the greatest of all human virtues!  Disgusting!

The Green Party, though espousing a reasonably rational environmental policy (its one “minor” flaw being that it is totally unrealizable under the capitalist system) is itself also a pro-capitalist political party, which means it defends the syatematic exploitation of the vast majority of the population by the numerically tiny capitalist class.  What the working class needs is a REAL workers party, not a vaguely “progressive” party that makes a lot of timid “progressive” noises but which, in the final analysis, defends the capitalist system that ruthlessly robs the working class day-in and day-out.   When the working class of the USA finally realizes that it must create a party of its own, completely independent of the US capitalist class, funded 100% by the working class, staffed by revolutionary Trotskyist workers and dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system of racism, war, poverty and unemployment, the days of the rule of the exploiters over the exploited will finally come to its long-awaited end.  We’re ready to get this party started when you are, sister and brother workers!  Join us!  If we work hard enough over the next three years we will be able to start replacing the bought-and-paid-for politicians representing the greedy 10%ers with real workers representatives who don’t just want to “speak truth to power” but who want to take power into the hands of the working class directly.  The working class can not have its rights successfully fought for and defended by politicians who owe their political offices to bribes paid them by the capitalists to secure their election.  We must have our own party, our own leaders, answerable only to you the workers and to you alone.  We will take over all local, state and national offices and then we will finally get rid of the capitalist system that enslaves the workers of the entire capitalist world by overthrowing the capitalists’ rotten and corrupt government and replacing it with an egalitarian socialist workers republic.  Only then can we have a government that guarantees our inalienable right to housing, food, clothing, education and health care once and for all time.

–IWPCHI

25-page ODNI Report:  odni_-intel-community-assessment-assessing-russian-activities-and-intentions-in-recent-us-elections-6jan17

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Movie Review – CITIZENFOUR: “Speaking Truth to Power” is not What Needs to Be Done (* out of 5)

[Note: this review is being simultaneously published by the Independent Workers Party of Chicago and the Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago on the respective websites of both groups.]

CITIZENFOUR – a film by Laura Poitras  https://citizenfourfilm.com/

We expected a lot from Laura Poitras’ new film CITIZENFOUR; we were massively disappointed.  With ex- CIA/NSA contract worker Edward Snowden still stuck in exile in Russia and the citizenry of the United States far more interested in the latest shiny objects for sale at the Apple Store than in fighting for their rapidly disappearing Constitutional rights, we had hoped that this film would be a clarion call to the workers of the United States to take action in their own self-defense by standing up in support of Snowden and his fellow heroic whistle-blowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond and others.  Instead what we get is a very tepid and shallow overview of “the story so far” of the world-shaking revelations made by Snowden exposing the US Government’s global espionage network that monitors and stores for future use every cellphone call, email message and the wealth of information derivable from our daily movements as recorded by our cellphones every day.  CITIZENFOUR should be like a nuclear howitzer blasting chunks out of the edifice of US and British imperialism; instead its effect is like that of a dozen pies thrown in the faces of a gang of war criminals.  You could say that CITIZENFOUR pulled all its punches… except for the fact that it never even attempts to throw any.  This is, by the way, the primary reason why it’s getting such great reviews from the bourgeois press.

So far as we can tell, the reason that Poitras doesn’t engage in aggressive political “agitprop” – a fact that nearly every reviewer from the bourgeois press extols as one of her film’s strengths – is apparently that she has no political axe to grind – or more accurately, she is a liberal bourgeois democratic reformist whose political aspirations rise no higher than to being one who “speaks truth to power”.  What this means in practice is that she and others like her – including Assange and Snowden – willingly self-limit the extent of their political activities to begging the “legitimate powers that be” to behave themselves and to urging the paid employees of the US capitalist ruling class that have set up the global espionage network – the bourgeois politicians in the “Five Eyes” nations – to start taking their alleged “responsibilities” to the citizens of their respective nations seriously by curbing the “excesses” that they themselves signed off on!

This kind of “inside the box” thinking may seem strange coming from the likes of Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald; but if we analyze their political philosophies in more detail it doesn’t seem strange at all.  Unless a person has consciously broken away from the worthless, selfish, greedy corporatist ideology of the capitalist system and has become a conscious Marxist revolutionary dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist class and its economic system, one’s politics are going to be by definition REFORMIST at best; and so how can a non-revolutionary do anything else but simply beg the bourgeoisie to straighten up and fly right?  If you believe that the capitalist economic system is “the best of all possible economic systems”, and that only the capitalist class and its favored institutions of higher learning are capable of producing “legitimate” political leaders – where does that leave you politically?  It leaves you “speaking truth to power” like a good, loyal (if somewhat uppity) wage-slave!

Is CITIZENFOUR worth seeing?  For us, it was worth the price of admission just to see the “Dream Team” of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras in the same room preparing to launch one of the world’s most impressive exposes of massive governmental abuses of power affecting everyone on the planet who has access to a telephone and/or a computer connected to the Internet.  This NSA spy scandal makes Watergate look like a pillow fight!  But the cursory overview made by the film of the extent of the revelations can’t be very compelling to anyone who hasn’t been following the story over the past year or so.  The movie barely describes the NSA and GCHQ-run “Five Eyes” espionage juggernaut; nor does it clearly show the threats of assassination and worse levied against Snowden, Assange and Greenwald by various US Government scumbags through the news media for daring to bring all this criminality into the light of day.  And, having not even really covered any of these issues, the film fails to even attempt to engage the audience in the critically important work of what is to be done: building new political parties to take down those that have erected the Big Brother spy apparatus that is intended to be used primarily to rapidly identify political opponents of the US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Governments INSIDE  THEIR RESPECTIVE NATION-STATES!  This is, after all, the real purpose of all this espionage: to create a database of the day-to-day activities of every citizen of the world’s leading capitalist states in order to identify and neutralize them if they should ever seek to organize seriously threatening political opposition to the neo-fascist police states being set up in the US and its partners in the “Five Eyes” nations.  The primary target of all this espionage isn’t foreign terrorism: the target is the domestic working-class political opposition that – if it turns in a revolutionary socialist direction – potentially threatens the continued class rule of the capitalist classes of the world.  The capitalist classes of the US and UK in particular have absolutely no intention of sharing political power with the numerically and economically vastly superior working class that creates all the wealth under capitalism.  Any attempt by the domestic working classes of the US or UK to throw off the yoke of capitalist exploitation through political or economic strike action will immediately be placed under the microscope of the global espionage network, where the movement’s leaders will be quickly identified, isolated and “neutralized” – physically if the capitalists deem it to be necessary.  This is precisely what makes so extremely dangerous  the Obama Administration’s precedent-setting legal findings asserting that a sitting US President has the “right” to order the assassination of any US citizen whose writings or friends and associates he – or more accurately his employers in the US capitalist class – do not like.

This is not crazy commie paranoia speaking here: the Obama Administration has openly admitted that it has murdered four US citizens in drone strikes overseas – that we know of; and the US government maintains a “watch list” of its perceived opponents that already had a million people listed on it in 2009 – and it is being constantly updated. In 2013 it was reported that an additional 450,000 people were “nominated” to be added to the list – with few of the nominees escaping that dubious honor.

The faith in the hired political lackeys of the bourgeoisie implicitly espoused by Poitras, Greenwald, Snowden and Assange; their placid belief that steady pressure applied to the so-called liberal “left-wing” and Libertarian sections of the political class will ultimately win the day and allow the necessary political reforms to be enacted is, quite frankly, absurd – and evidence of a political immaturity in all of them that is quite shocking, especially considering what they have learned since Snowden came forward with his revelations.  Those actual members of the US or UK capitalist classes who go to see CITIZENFOUR will undoubtedly feel a tremendous relief in their discovery that these potentially dangerous opponents of the capitalist class are, in fact, posing no serious threat to the status quo at all.  The capitalists and their spies and hired guns can sleep a bit easier knowing that Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald – for all their genuine courage and excellent work in exposing the crimes of the ruling class – have set for themselves only the pathetic task of “speaking truth to power”.   That is something that the ruling class can listen to from Assange, Snowden – or anyone else, for that matter – for ever, condescendingly acknowledging and even thanking them profusely for their heroic selflessness in bringing to the world’s attention these “serious issues” – while doing absolutely nothing substantial to change the workings of the national security state at all.  Viewed in this way, CITIZENFOUR becomes just another pointless pantomime rebellion in the long, bloody history of capitalism.  The capitalists will, first of all, breathe a deep sigh of relief now that it’s clear that the film isn’t presenting an indictment of the capitalist class or their system; then, having been let largely off the hook by the film’s protagonists, we expect the capitalist class to continue to do what they have in fact been doing: applauding the film.   Perhaps Poitras and Greenwald will be invited to  testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee to speak “truth to power” on CSPAN; or at the Council on Foreign Relations… or at the United Nations or one of the capitalist soirees like the annual hand-wringing exercise at Davos, Switzerland.   Finally, perhaps, the capitalist class will direct the editors of their news media conglomerates to heap praise on the film and even to heartily recommend that it be awarded the Palme ‘d’Or, or even an Oscar or two!  This is how activist filmmakers like Poitras and investigative journalists like Greenwald are co-opted by the capitalist class and transformed from courageous opponents of the capitalist system to prominent pro-regime songbirds publicly displayed in golden cages. Ask Barbara Kopple or Bob Woodward how it’s done.

Poitras, Greenwald et al are, we believe, decent, courageous and apparently honest bourgeois reformist journalists.  But we ask our readers to imagine how much further along in investigating, exposing and successfully fighting this impending global police state we’d be if the documents unleashed by Snowden had been placed not in the hands of “responsible journalists” but in the hands of worker-revolutionaries who weren’t so loyally censoring the documents in order to “protect the agents and assets” of the racist, bloodthirsty and greed-obsessed US capitalist class and its spy organizations!  Snowden makes clear in the movie that his motivation for placing the blockbuster documents he purloined from the NSA into the hands of trustworthy representatives of the bourgeois press was that he wanted to be sure that there would be no reckless release of information that would seriously damage the “legitimate” goals of the shadow government of the US!  Greenwald et al have scrupulously respected the “sacred trust” placed in them by Snowden to protect the “family jewels” of the espionage agencies of US and British imperialism.  This is disgusting!  Instead of placing the interests of the 7.2 billion workers of the world above all else, Snowden and his team are protecting the “legitimate rights” of the microscopically small capitalist class against those of the multi-billion strong international working class!  Snowden and his collaborators are doing a tremendous service for the US and British capitalist classes, which are, by the way, going to repay them and all of us by imposing their will on the world – both internationally and domestically – through increasingly brutal military and police-state force.  To throw the US and British capitalist classes such a huge life-preserver when they should instead be having ANCHORS tied to their necks is to betray the entire human race in order to maintain the tenuous and despotic rule of a class of criminals responsible for the perpetuation of the horrors of a capitalist world in which – to name just one major example – the world does little or nothing while 17,000 children die of starvation every single day!  There is nothing “legitimate” about the capitalist class or their “interests”!  Every effort should be made to destroy the NSA, the CIA and the US military and the cretinous ruling class that spawned them – not to save them!

Nothing short of workers revolution can change the increasingly deranged plans of the US capitalist class.  They have plans of global military domination of the entire planet that go far beyond what even Adolf Hitler envisioned; so long as their political opponents refuse to form working class revolutionary parties to overthrow the capitalist class and system, the ruling capitalists have nothing to fear.

The working class, however, DOES have something to fear from the fact that most of their erstwhile leaders are so completely dedicated to the continuation of the brutal capitalist system that they are prepared to follow the capitalist class all the way down the road to hell, where the fascists and eventually World War Three will put an end to this historical epoch – and perhaps throw the human race back into a pre-industrial stage of development.  Apparently, these folks think that they have more to gain from clinging to the coat-tails of the capitalist class than they can gain by fighting for the emancipation of the workers of the world.  If they insist on taking the capitalist road, that’s fine; but let’s not imagine that because THEY are heading down that road, that we, too, must take that well-worn path to political oblivion.  We’re not followers – we aspire to be revolutionary workers leaders. We warn the Poitrases and Greenwalds of the world of the dangers that lie ahead; we try to point out the reasons why we disagree with them; we urge them to take the high rather than the low road; but we can’t force them to lead a workers revolution.  They are simply not revolutionaries; perhaps it’s just not in their nature to be revolutionaries.  It’s a pity, but that is, in the end, their problem – we don’t need to make it ours.

The working class must look elsewhere than to Poitras, Snowden, Assange and Greenwald for the political leadership necessary to lead the workers of the world out of the dead end of the capitalist stage of development and into the next stage: that of socialism.  It’s “socialism or barbarism” brothers and sisters, just like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Trotsky explained to us so many years ago!  Now –  as then – to ignore the warnings of those great, selfless and honest internationalist leaders of the working class is to help the capitalist class pave the road leading to the hell of the next – and possibly this time, the last – world war.

Workers of the World, Unite!

IWPCHI and Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago

WikiLeaks Party of Australia’s “Transparency” Problem: Not-So-Openly Preferring Fascists Over Working-Class Parties

It’s one thing to criticize governments from an ivory tower; it’s quite another thing to take an essentially reformist whistleblowing organization and to turn it into a viable political party.   Occupy Wall St. never had the cojones or the intention to even try to create a political party, perhaps because its leaders knew what an impossible task it would be to attempt to weld a mishmash of disaffected political activists and declassed petit-bourgeois holding diametrically opposed political opinions into a cohesive political party.  So they never bothered to try, and fell on their own wooden swords – “rugged individualists”, all.

WikiLeaks is trying to assault the windmill of supra-class politics by creating the “WikiLeaks Party of Australia”.  It’s essentially an attempt to spring Julian Assange from his gilded cage in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London by getting him elected to the Australian Senate, by which maneuver he will obtain (allegedly) diplomatic immunity of sorts.  It’s not a bad idea providing that there is enough advanced political consciousness behind the noble – but extremely limited – reformist experiment of WikiLeaks.  But, like most wishful thinking, this, too, has proven to be of no more substance than a wad of cotton candy.

The historical landscape  is littered with the bones of long-dead but once high-flying reformist political parties that tried to base themselves on something besides the class struggle politics of the Marxist/Leninist communist movement.  Idealistic reformists all across the globe who harbored deep hatred for the “communism” of the Stalinist USSR and its satellites sought repeatedly to create allegedly pro-working class anti-communist parties from scratch.  Their success rate to date has been nil.  They all wind up revealing their utter contempt for the working class, selling out strikes and, ultimately,  throwing down with their “own” bourgeoisie and its imperialist state against revolutionary movements led by socialists or “communists”.

In Australia, as in Italy, their bourgeois democratic parliamentary system has produced  hundreds of ridiculous self-aggrandizing single-issue “political parties” – none of which have any intention at all of ever taking power into their own callus-free little hands and building a new society.  Most of these parties have some degree of hostility to Marxist ideology which causes them to distance themselves from the trade union and socialist movements of the working class.  In fact, these petty political parties seem to want to pretend that the working class – numerically by far the largest section of the population in ANY modern nation-state – doesn’t even exist!  Many – if not most – of their their party programs make no mention of support for the workers movement or for trade unions or for the working class at all.  This is not an accident: it is due to the fact that the leaders of all these ridiculous and essentially phony “political parties” are run by small businessmen (petit-bourgeois) whose own personal wealth is based on the exploitation of workers, and whose hostility towards the organized working class arises directly from their class status as petit-bourgeois.  The leadership of these parties are, by their very nature, incapable of overthrowing the existing economic and political order of things under capitalism.  In fact, the only problem that the petit-bourgeois have against capitalism is that they themselves don’t own enough capital.  Thus they find themselves – and their political party programs – utterly at odds with the class interests of the vast majority of their fellow citizens – the working class – from whom they and the big capitalists extract profits, enriching themselves and simultaneously impoverishing the workers.

Some of these petit-bourgeois would-be political “leaders” are conscious of the fact that their politics are in opposition to those of the working class.  We imagine that most of these conscious opponents of the working class among the petit-bourgeoisie BECAME conscious of their opposition thanks to a Marxist friend or friends, or due to the teachings of a professor or two they ran across at university, who turned them on to the basics of Marxism way back when they were young and “idealistic”.

Others do not fit into this category.  These unfortunate souls do not possess even a smattering of understanding of the fundamental class divisions of capitalist society (as elucidated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels way back in 1848 in “The Communist Manifesto”).  This vast ignorance of the basic political and social realities of the societies that these pathetically under-educated petit-bourgeois LIVE IN leaves them grasping at straws when they try, desperately, to defend their extremely tenuous position as small businessmen against the massive political and economic forces arrayed against them by the big capitalists.   In a desperate attempt to appeal to the “better side” of the big capitalists, these pathetic petit-bourgeois parrot all the anticommunist and anti-working-class drivel they’ve been taught from the day they learned to watch T.V., spewing it back out in the form of their pathetic, reactionary “party programs”.  The most foolish of them attempt to create political parties without making any attempt to make even the most cursory appeal to the brutally exploited masses of workers who work for them, live all around them and without whom the petit-bourgeois themselves wouldn’t even be able to exist!

This is precisely what Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks Party of Australia are trying to do.  They have produced a party platform that doesn’t even MENTION the working class ONCE in the 15 pages of its party program!  Only ONCE does this “party program” even MENTION the word “union” – and then it is referring to the “European Union”!  Not even ONCE does it mention the concept of WOMEN’S RIGHTS!  Hell, you can’t even find the words “woman” or “women” in it at all!  It adopts essentially the same attitude towards immigrants as the current and previous Australian governments, asserting only that the detention of immigrants be “capped” at 45 days for “health and security” reasons, leving it up to the tender mercies of the Australian judicial system to decide if it would be O.K. to extend that detention period.  In short, the WikiLeaks Party of Australia has produced a party program that is not worth a cup of spit in so far as any woman, worker or immigrant is concerned!  BUT THEY WANT AND EXPECT TO OBTAIN THE WORKERS’ VOTES!  AND THEY WANT THE WORKING CLASS TO FINANCE THE WIKILEAKS PARTY, TOO!

As if this isn’t insulting enough and absurd enough to the worker-citizens of Australia and the entire world, the WikiLeaks Party wants to go the extra distance in order to prove their allegiance to the class interests of the top 10% of filthy rich Australians by showing that the WLPA are not a  threat to Australian capitalism!

How do they do this?  By secretly submitting to the Australian Electoral Committee  this list of their “preferred” political parties – parties to whom the WikiLeaks Party of Australia could hand over their votes in the event that the WikiLeaks Party of Australia does not win the 2013 Australian Senate election.

As many Australians were shocked to find out, and as you can see from the link above, the WikiLeaks Party of Australia has “preferred” several far-right parties and even at least one actual fascist party – the “Australia First Party” – over a number of socialist workers parties!

As if they had not made their political program clear enough by doing this, recently Julian Assange, WLPA candidate for Senate, in an online press conference, stated that he was a “big admirer” of U.S. Senators Ron and Rand Paul – both of whom are considered to be among the most right-wing conservative of all U.S. members of Congress!  Both Ron and Rand Paul are famous for their opposition to abortion even in case of rape or incest; and Ron Paul is infamous for having – for years – published newsletters spouting disgusting racist and anti-Semitic propaganda!

The WikiLeaks party of Australia has claimed that the favoritism shown by them in their “preference statement” was due merely to an “administrative error”.  But we warn the working class of Australia that the deep political CONSISTENCY of these actions shines a harsh light on the politics of the WikiLeaks Party of Australia.  Among the leaders of this party are obviously some people who are extremely hostile to the rights of women, minorities and the workers movement.  This comes as no surprise to Marxists like us, as we know from over 150 years of worldwide historical experience that the fascists recruit their leaders precisely from that petit-bourgeois strata of the population from which has emerged Julian Assange and the leadership of the WikiLeaks Party.  We are not asserting that the WikiLeaks Party of Australia is a fascist or neo-fascist party: it is not.  They are in fact running a man of Indian ancestry as one of their candidates.   But they have openly allied themselves with people who are themselves closely aligned with some well-known extreme right-wing elements of both the Australian and U.S. political scenes.  This is not an “administrative error”!  It is a conscious attempt by the WikiLeaks Party of Australia to present to the capitalist class of Australia their “pledge of allegiance” to the capitalist system, and their distaste for any political movement of the working class.

[The “Friends of WikiLeaks -Chicago” group – which we are very closely allied to – has written an email to the WikiLeaks Party of Australia asking for immediate clarification of these “administrative errors”.]

It is because of this that we warn the working class of Australia: DO NOT VOTE FOR THE WIKILEAKS PARTY OF AUSTRALIA!  They offer you, the workers of Australia, absolutely NOTHING in return for your vote.  Their political program is a work in progress, and so far it doesn’t look good at all.  They are a pro-capitalist political party, and have no intention of ever doing anything to disrupt the capitalist economy of Australia.  In the words of Julian Assange: “Wikileaks Party is a party of accountability, it’s not a party of government… It’s a party to put into the Senate, to make sure whoever is put into the government does their job. It’s an insurance against the election.”

[Source: The Indian Down Under,  “Suresh Rajan is a candidate from Western Australia for WikiLeaks Party”, 5 August, 2013 ]

In other words, they are a classic reformist outfit that will restrict themselves to holding the feet of the Australian capitalist class’ political puppets “to the fire” – nothing more.   They are so boundlessly ignorant of the basic political and social realities of capitalist society that they simply do not deserve the support of any politically conscious worker.

We hope to have the time to provide a comprehensive critique of the WikiLeaks Party of Australia’s latest incarnation of its political program in the next week or so.

IWPCHI

“Cowards of the Pen” Censor Dissent, Prepare World’s Couch Potatoes for WWIII Fryolator

As we have been surfing the net, we obviously often come across news articles that are just begging us to post a comment in the comments section.  The commentary is either going nowhere or there are a series of witty stupid one-liners where some intelligent discussion should appear.  So we try to encourage a broader discussion by letting people know that:

1) the capitalist regime is not “the best of all possible worlds” nor must we suffer it to continue to exist and;

2) by explaining how we workers might all get together and create societies far more egalitarian and fun for ourselves and future generations to enjoy by abolishing the capitalist system worldwide and replacing the current regime of warring capitalist nation states with peaceful, egalitarian workers republics.

The pro-capitalist media is supposed to uphold standards of openness and freedom of expression which, we are endlessly told, does not exist in “communist” countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea.  However, in reality, the capitalist news media censors itself and the commentaries it allows to appear on their websites in order to keep the “news” and the parameters of its discussion well within limits which the bourgeoisie finds to be “acceptable”.  This is elementary knowledge for Marxists like us, and is why we speak of the press utilizing the scientific terminology developed by the Marxist movement over the past 150 years, which strips away all the thick greasepaint capitalism uses to hide its true, hideous reality.  That’s why we don’t speak of the “mainstream media” or “MSM” as the pro-capitalist liberals and right-wing anti-MSMers do: we call it out as the “capitalist press” or “bourgeois press”, because that’s what it is.  The major media outlets in capitalist countries, being owned by capitalists, are not “objective” but espouse the political, economic and social philosophy of the capitalist class itself.

That’s why even such supposedly upstanding news organizations like Reuters censor our posts when we submit them to their websites.  They would prefer that the very name of socialism or communism never be uttered on their sites, unless it is to disparage those philosophies and everyone who has ever or who does today have anything good to say about socialism.

Late last year, we submitted the following comment to a Reuters news story carried on their own website on December 12th under the title  “North Korea launches rocket, raising nuclear arms stakes” :

“Congratulations to North Korea on their successful satellite launch!  Here’s hoping that this will give the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys in Japan and Seoul reason to back down off their war provocations on the Korean peninsula.  But we doubt it.
“The billionaires’ bought-and-paid-for capitalist press pretends that the missile programs of North Korea pose a major threat to ‘world peace’ while the U.S. military operates in 173 countries and slaughters civilians from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Iraq and threatens to destroy Iran and North Korea with the US’ MASSIVE nuclear arsenal.
“The possession of nuclear weapons by small states like Iran and North Korea has been made a matter of life or death by the very real and continual nuclear blackmail being waged against these states and all the world’s nations by the ACTUAL ‘biggest threat to world peace’: the blood-soaked capitalist class of the United States, guilty of genocide of the Native Americans, the death of hundreds of thousands of Africans in the slave trade, 300 years of slavery by which the ‘great families’ of the US made their fortunes, and their bloody wars to steal northern Mexico, to seize Cuba, to murder the Philippine nationalists in the 1890s, to back up brutal military dictatorships throughout Central and South America, the napalming of ‘every village in North Korea’ during the Korean War – and other crimes too numerous to fit the space given here.  Only a workers revolution in the United States which disarms this ruthless capitalist class can begin the process by which the world can truly enjoy peace for the first time.
US/NATO: Hands off North Korea!  Workers of the World, Unite!”

We waited for an hour or so to see our comment duly posted on the Reuters site while other peoples’ comments, made long after ours, were posted, one after the other.  Irritated, but not at all surprised by this, we wrote to the Reuters editorial staff to ask if we had somehow fallen afoul of their “comments policy” and if so, what could we do to correct the situation?  They assigned us #23036 to our complaint and pretended that they would get back to us.

Here is the response from Reuters:

[From:] Karen Pastor, Thomson Reuters

December 12, 2012 02:58 pm
User photo
Iwpchi
  • Hello:It would appear that there was no specific reason why this comment was censored by your moderators, since you responded to our inquiry with a boilerplate answer. If this is not the case, please explain why our comment was not posted on your site; otherwise we will have to assume that it was censored for its political content.Thanks,Independent Workers Party of Chicago
December 13, 2012 08:53 pm
User photo
Karen Pastor

Thomson Reuters
  • Hello,According to our editorial team, we can’t find it. It’s nowhere in our system.
    Please try again.Regards,
    Reuters.com Team
December 20, 2012 08:11 am
****************
And, in fact, it turns out that the article we posted our comment to as well as our comment has been sent “down the memory hole”, because it is nowhere to be found on the Reuters website!

Really, what is there for them to explain?  Our comment violated several financial and ideological underpinnings of their business and their friends’ businesses, not to mention providing a searing indictment of the world’s most powerful capitalist ruling class, and so, it had to be, and was, dutifully censored by Reuters’ very own quisling employees who care more for their own job security than they do for those highly touted principles of the “free press” they were taught in the capitalists’ own journalism schools.  See how that works?

If you still don’t get it, check out the “comments policy” explanation given by Dean Wright, written back on 27 Sept. 2010 when he still worked at Reuters:

“Toward a More Thoughtful Conversation on Stories”

“Visitors to this space may recall that I wrote this summer about the issues Reuters and other news organizations face in dealing with reader comments on stories.

“I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of discourse in comments on news stories on Reuters.com and on other major news sites.  On some stories,  the “conversation”  has been little more than  partisans slinging invective at each other under  the cloak of anonymity.  I believe our time-challenged, professional readers want to see a more rewarding conversation—and my colleagues who lead Reuters.com are introducing a new process for comments that I believe will help bring that about.  […]  Let me introduce Richard Baum, Reuters Global Editor for Consumer Media, to tell you about the new process:

[Richard Baum continues:]

“Like many major news publishers, we’ve agonized over how to balance our enthusiasm for reader comments on stories with our belief that few people would benefit from a free-for-all. Most of our readers respect our request for comments that “advance the story,” by submitting relevant anecdotes, links and data or by challenging our reporting when they think we’ve fallen short of our editorial standards. It’s rewarding, sometimes even exhilarating, to see the way our audience builds on our coverage.

“Where we struggle is with comments that we believe contribute nothing useful to the conversation. I’m not talking about obscenities and spam — we have software that aims to block the publication of those — but something more subjective. Most of our readers are business professionals who value their time highly. [emphasis added – IWPCHI] We believe they want comments that are as rewarding to read as they are to write. The challenge is how we deliver that experience in a way that doesn’t delay the publication of good comments nor use up resources that might be better deployed on other parts of the site.

[…] Here are some examples of the type of comments that fall foul of our moderators:
– racism and other hate language that isn’t caught by our software filters
– obscene words with letters substituted to get around the software filters
– semi-literate spelling; we’re not looking for perfection, but people shouldn’t have to struggle to determine the meaning
– uncivil behavior towards other commentators; debate is welcome, schoolyard taunts are not
– incitement to violence
– comments that have nothing to do with the story
– comments that have been pasted across multiple stories
– comments that are unusually long, unless they’re very well written
– excessive use of capital letters

“Some of the guidelines for our moderators are hard to define precisely.  [You mean to say: utterly subjective? – IWPCHI] Mocking of public people can be fair sport, for example, but a moderator that has just approved 30 comments calling someone an idiot can rightly decide that there’s little incremental value in publishing the 31st. When we block comments of this nature, it’s because of issues of repetition, taste or legal risk, not political bias.

“Until recently, our moderation process involved editors going through a basket of all incoming comments, publishing the ones that met our standards and blocking the others. (It’s a binary decision: we don’t have the resources to edit comments.)

“This was unsatisfactory because it delayed the publication of good comments, especially overnight and at weekends when our staffing is lighter.

“Our new process grants a kind of VIP status on people who have had comments approved previously. When you register to comment on Reuters.com, our moderation software tags you as a new user. Your comments go through the same moderation process as before, but every time we approve a comment, you score a point.

“Once you’ve reached a certain number of points, you become a recognized user. Congratulations: your comments will be published instantly from now on. Our editors will still review your comments after they’ve been published and will remove them if they don’t meet our standards. When that happens, you’ll lose points. Lose enough points and you’ll revert to new user status.

“The highest scoring commentators will be classified as expert users, earning additional privileges that we’ll implement in future. You can see approval statistics for each reader on public profile pages like this, accessed by clicking on the name next to a comment.

“It’s not a perfect system, but we believe it’s a foundation for facilitating a civil and rewarding discussion that’s open to the widest range of people. Let me know what you think.”

Here’s what some Reuters readers “thought” about that statement:

************

Mar 3, 2012
6:45 pm UTC

This is a typical elitist attitude towards writing and publication. Censorship at its most foul. If we don’t like what you say then we won’t publish it. I guess the 1st ammendment is only for them.

*************
Mar 4, 2012
10:53 am UTC

I took the time and agreed to share my yahoo information with rueters in order to post and I’m looked down upoon because its my first comment. gee I hope I earn enough points so I can state my opion. sorry that new commenters aren’t worthy, maybe if we only use your website and build up enough comments on articles that we don’t really care about we will have enough points to be able to make a comment, great system hope it works out for you.

****************

Mar 5, 2012
10:00 am UTC

“Most of our readers are business professionals who value their time highly. We believe they want comments that are as rewarding to read as they are to write.” Well let me ask you this: How much “time” does it take a bussiness proffessional [sic – IWPCHI] to NOT read a comment, to simply skip over it if they are not interested? As you may have gathered by the majority of comments – no one here is buying your lame excuses for censoring the comments section. The only fair thing to do is allow all comments (with the exception of spam, and profanity maybe) or do away with the comments section all together.

***************

Mar 5, 2012
2:40 pm UTC

A VIP preference for commenting smacks of censorship. It’s one thing to eliminate comments that are not tasteful but when it’s clear the comment is civil and informed -why the delay? In the end you’ll end up loosing some of the most interesting people
who come to your site.

[End of examples – IWPCHI]

Well, of course, it’s not about providing an open discussion at all: it’s about providing an environment that their most important readers – “business professionals” – with a product that they will enjoy reading.  Everyone else can take their commentary elsewhere.  Very democratic, eh?

We had the exact same thing happen to us today on the website of “The Independent”, a major bourgeois press newspaper from London.  We wasted our time jumping through the hoops to sign up for permission to comment to a thing called “Disqus”, filed our comment and… waited all day in vain to see it posted.  (The article is entitled  “North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-il ‘died in fit of rage over dam that had sprung a leak'”.  The discussion focused around US/NATO-sponsored “Axis of Evil” propaganda over the economic crisis and famine that took place in North Korea in the mid-to-late 1990s after the USSR collapsed and aid to NK was cut off by the repulsive, pro-capitalist Yeltsin regime.  Our comment was:

“Perhaps before you all argue over how it occurred, you should take a look at the Wikipedia article on the  “North Korean famine”. It turns out that the famine was in fact caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union – a historic betrayal of the workers of the USSR and the world by the Stalinist leadership of the USSR – as well as a series of unprecedented massive floods which combined to wipe out North Korean agriculture. On top of that, add the US/NATO countries’ sanctions and you have the North Korean regime – due to circumstances mostly far beyond its control – faced with a very dire situation leading to a tragic outcome.  No nation could pass through economic crises of that magnitude without very serious consequences resulting therefrom.

“As far as the hyperbolic statement that ‘1,000,000 people’ ‘starved to death’ due to this famine: the death toll is simply not known by anyone but the North Koreans. Wikipedia says that figures bandied about range from as few as 200,000 to 3.5 million; but no matter how many people died, the famine was an enormous tragedy for a very heroic country which has suffered tremendously at the hands of Japanese and (later) US imperialism since the 1930s, through absolutely no fault of its own. North Korea has never threatened the US in any way and it does not threaten the US or any other country today – except perhaps South Korea, which, lest we forget, it remains officially at war with.  North Korea, like any other country, has every right to defend itself against military attacks from anyone; but they have a particularly strong case for the right to defend themselves by any means necessary from attacks originating from the two nations which have repeatedly actually slaughtered millions of Korean and Chinese civilians over the past three-quarters of a century: the Japanese and the United States – and the US puppet regime in South Korea.  The US – which hypocritically pretends to mourn for every “poor North Korean” who died in the ’90s famine – ruthlessly butchered hundreds of thousands of Korean civilians, “North” and “South” during the Korean War.  Look up “The Bridge at No Gun Ri” for US soldiers first-hand accounts of how they were ordered to kill civilians in that brutal “forgotten” war.  That was just one of the many war crimes committed by the US against North Korea.  US Generals bragged about how they had napalmed every single village in North Korea from Seoul to the Chinese border, burning hundreds of thousands of civilians to death in the process.  So let’s not hear any more of this tripe about how much the “democracies” of the West care about the quality of civilian life in North Korea.

“It it a far too common practice to ‘forget’ the war crimes committed by one’s ‘own’ country, but never to hesitate to throw around the most outrageous and unfounded accusations against ‘enemy’ countries.

“Read Bruce Cumings’ excellent books ‘North Korea: Another Country’ and ‘The Korean War: A History’
for a very balanced account of recent Korean history and the massive war crimes committed by the Japanese and US against all of Korea from 1931 to the present day.
Independent Workers Party of Chicago
iwpchi.wordpress.com”

Once again, a reasoned, pro-North Korean opinion is effectively censored by the staff of “The Independent”, simply by either deleting the comment or by posting it, perhaps, hours later when the conversation has effectively ended and/or the number of comments has reached such an astronomically high number that it is pointless to even try to read them all.  Censorship accomplished!  Congratulations!  The message is: “The capitalist world is the best of all possible worlds, and there are no alternatives to it!  Obey your masters and  their laws and you will enjoy eternal joy in heaven after you are dead!”

This is why access to the Internet is so important, and why the long-running  US government assault on privacy is so important: by scaring the populace into believing that everything they say or do or read on the Internet will be reviewable at any time by the police agents of the capitalist class and will be used against the workers, the US government hopes that it can scare people away from websites like this one – or at least keep them from having the courage to “like” or comment on these types of sites.

And it works, too, doesn’t it?  It apparently works on most of you who read this blog!  Our website has had several thousand visitors since we established it last spring – and we have a grand total of 34 comments in eight months!

Your ability to speak and think freely is being taken away from you; or, rather, you, by refusing to demand your rights and by refusing to exercise those you do still have, are wantonly abandoning your rights to the capitalist wolves who wish to turn you into an obedient debt peon, because it’s easier to give up your rights than it is to defend them.    And you have no right to surrender these rights without a fight, because your ancestors fought and died for them… and if you won’t defend your rights starting RIGHT NOW, your children and grandchildren will have to fight and die to regain those rights you so slavishly surrender today.   There is no way for you to avoid responsibility for this, sisters and brothers.  If you continue to sit on the sidelines of this battle, watching people like the  Anarchist youth that were sent to jail last year for standing up for YOUR rights get railroaded; if you will sit there like a couch potato and watch WikiLeaks get destroyed by the capitalist state that wants to keep its many crimes hidden from your view;  if you will sit there like a good little consumer and watch Bradley Manning get tortured and then jailed for decades for daring to tell YOU the TRUTH about the US capitalists’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; if you will go to work like a good little wage slave every day and keep your head down and ignore what’s happening to your fellow Chicagoan, Jeremy Hammond, facing decades in jail for the “crime” of exposing how private companies are making billions of dollars by undermining workers organizations fighting for YOUR rights – the number of cases like these have been steadily rising while you’ve been evading your responsibilities, “brothers and sisters”! –  then most assuredly your children and grandchildren will be forced to fight for their lives against a US police state so monstrous it would make George Orwell gasp for air.  And when your children and grandchildren trace back the origins of that police state to YOU and your MULISH INDIFFERENCE to the massive human suffering that took place while your generation was in power… well let’s just say that whenever the subject comes up they will express their tremendous contempt of their cowardly ancestors who bequeathed them such a world and such a monumental struggle and leave it at that.

The time during which this dystopian future can be not just avoided but turned around and a world worthy of bringing children into can be created to replace it is running out quickly.  You’d better get your ass of those couches, potatoes, before they all catch fire under your sorry asses and you become just a few  hundred million burnt french fries in the WWIII Fryolator – which is exactly where we are ALL headed if we workers don’t get off our asses and GET BUSY ORGANIZING OURSELVES to overthrow the capitalist system!

Clicking on the “Like” button is not enough!  Retweeting a post from a revolutionary workers’ website is not enough!  Honking the horn on your mobile couch in impotent faux “solidarity” as you and a car full of your potato-friends zip past a demonstration of worker-activists is NOT ENOUGH!  You must commit yourselves, your lives and your money to this goal of a more just egalitarian society for yourselves and your children or IT WILL NOT COME TO PASS!  Get involved, NOW!

IWPCHI

US, UK Governments: Hands Off Julian Assange and WikiLeaks!

There have been new developments today in the case of Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blower group WikiLeaks.

The government of Ecuador has granted Assange – who is now living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – asylum and permission to move to Ecuador, where he will be free to continue to fight extradition charges to Sweden that might end up placing him in the hands of the US government.   Members of the US Government – Republicans and Democrats – have branded Assange and his supporters everything from “terrorists” to “a clear and present danger to America” who should be prosecuted under the draconian Espionage Act of 1917 , which has been used to imprison US activists and politicians who opposed the military draft during wartime.  One of the act’s first victims was Eugene Debs, one of the founders of the International Workers of the World (IWW) , who had broken the law by making a speech in Canton, Ohio in 1918 in which he “urg[ed] resistance to the military draft.  This was not a crime, but an act of heroic defense of the interests of the working class internationally; nevertheless, the US government obtained a conviction and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, 5 of which he served.   So much for the US’ vaunted Bill of Rights and “Freedom of Speech”!  When push comes to shove, the Bill of Rights isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, especially when the US capitalist class has war profiteering on its mind!  In wartime especially – and remember, the “War on Terror” is a war that will never end – the “Bill of Rights” gets run through a shredder and wall-to-wall censorship becomes the order of the day.

The Obama administration has unleashed the Justice Dept. bloodhounds to track down whistleblowers at all costs in order to keep the worlds largest closet full of skeletons locked up tight. The Democrats – who like to call themselves the “friends of labor” – thus expose themselves once again to the entire world as being actually among the greatest enemies of labor, not just in the US but internationally!

Assange is in an extremely difficult position, as he has been facetiously indicted by Swedish authorities with various sex crimes under circumstances that clearly indicate that the charges are being made as part of a concerted effort to crush Wikileaks by imprisoning its founder on false charges.    He was in the UK fighting his extradition to Sweden on multiple grounds and due to the strong belief  – shared by many human rights lawyers – that the Swedish charges are simply a pretext to bring Assange to Sweden, at which time Sweden will turn him over to US authorities, who wish to prosecute Assange – an Australian national – under US espionage laws.  The US government has been howling for Assange’s blood for years, furious at him and his organization for repeatedly exposing US corporate crimes as well as US military war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Wikileaks’ release of over 250,000 secret emails from the US State Department as well as their publication of the leaked Afghan and Iraq War Logs, the distribution via Internet of a US Defense Department video of a US helicopter crew slaughtering civilians in Iraq, all aroused US government hatred and the allegation that the documents and video were “stolen” by former US Army intelligence operative Bradley Manning (who is now being held by the US military under conditions that amount to torture) and handed over to Wikileaks, in violation of US law.

As representatives of the working class of the world, we see these cases differently: “stealing” secret US government documents – which are kept secret only in order to hide the true nature of the hypocrisy and savagery of the US government from the working class of the United States – and publicly exposing them to the light of day is a tremendous service to the working class internationally and especially in the US.  We do not see this as a crime, we see it as a heroic act of solidarity with the working class against the bloodthirsty US capitalist class and their bought-and-paid-for government.  The phoniness of the US’ sham “democracy” is nowhere better illustrated than in the texts of the State Department cables, where candid “secret” US government assessments of the US governments “allies” around the globe are exposed as showing the vast gulf that exists between the US’ government’s public statements and what the denizens of “Foggy Bottom” really think.  Exposing the duplicity of US “diplomats” who hide the bloody designs of the US ruling capitalist class behind velvety phrases created to blind the workers of the world to the true nature of US imperialism is a revolutionary act of heroism that might save the lives of millions of workers caught in the cross-hairs of – or economically drafted directly into the service of – the US war machine!

Likewise, WikiLeaks’ acquisition and public display of the US war crimes video dubbed “Collateral Murder” tears the mask off the State Department’s obscene claim that the United States’ military invasion and occupation of Iraq is intended to bring “democracy” to the people of Iraq.  This video clearly shows the typical depravity of US soldiers after years of brainwashing by the US Military into believing that all Iraqis are “the enemy” and can be slaughtered with impunity.  It shows how just a few years in the US military can turn a nice 18 year old youth into a murderous thug who kills men, women and children as if they were just animated figures in a video game.

The Independent Workers Party calls on the workers of the world to defend WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and all the brave people who seek to expose the vast and sordid history of US War Crimes and the US capitalist class’ systematic robbery and mass murder of workers all over the world.  Protests should immediately be called to march to the UK’s embassies wherever they exist and to make clear the outrage the workers of the world feel at seeing the UK government’s brutal attacks on Mr. Assange and their flagrant flouting of international law by outrageously stating their intent to storm the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in order to seize Mr. Assange and deport him to Sweden.

This entire case shows how far the supposedly hallowed “rights” of “freedom of speech” actually protect a citizen of a capitalist country like England or the US.   Human rights in bourgeois democracies like these only exist so long as the people exercising their rights do not come into direct conflict with the basic functioning of the capitalist system.  The moment a worker goes out on strike or starts to oppose military recruitment – or even tries to tell the truth about what is being done secretly by a capitalist government in the name of the citizens of that nation – it’s “goodbye “Bill of Rights”, hello jail!” – or worse.

This is why we must organize a working class party here in the US to create a coherent movement that fights against every attempt by the capitalist class to revoke even the smallest shred of the Bill of Rights.  The attempt by successive US governments – led by Republicans and Democrats – to gag whistleblowers who heroically fight to get the truth out to the world about what horrible crimes are being committed by US corporations and the US government must be fought by the working class of the US with all our might.  Today they attack Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and their supporters – tomorrow they will come after you, and your friends and your supporters!  Your unions!  Your political organizations!  This might look to you, today, to be “someone else’s fight”; but if you allow yourselves to be fooled into believing that, you can be assured that tomorrow, it will be YOUR ASS that will be in the sling!

Workers of the World, Unite!  UK, US Government hands off Julian Assange and WikiLeaks!  Free Bradley Manning!

IWPCHI