Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

Summary: This whole Berkeley/Russia/Wikileaks thing came to my attention last week, when I was asked to appear on Russian state television.

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My mom always used to tell me that when one door closes, another opens. In this case, I'm pretty sure the door that represents my chances for being elected to the Berkeley City Council is closing, so we'll have to see what opens up.

See, here's the thing. The Berkeley City Council, as a body, is nuts. Always has been. Probably always will be. I can say this both because I used to go to grad school and work in Berkeley, and because their actions support the label.

The City of Berkeley thinks it's a sovereign nation.

It's not, of course, but that's never stopped Berkeley.

In 2009, Berkeley agreed to the United Nation's international human rights treaties, despite the fact that the UN doesn't recognize Berkeley as, well, anything. On the same night, Berkeley also agreed to raise parking fees, but they tend to do that pretty much all the time.

In the late 1980s, the Berkeley City Council declared Berkeley a nuclear free zone (despite the fact that one of the nation's most powerful physics laboratories is based in Berkeley). Berkeley also banned its city-owned vehicles from refilling at most of the city's own gas stations (apparently, the city council didn't like the oil companies).

The Berkeley City Council also has a history of supporting illegal activities aimed against the United States. In 2003, the Berkeley City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Cuban Five -- five Cuban nationals convicted of espionage activities against the United States.

Perhaps most egregious and offensive of all was the Berkeley City Council's action in 2008, declaring the United States Marine recruiting station persona non grata in the City of Berkeley and stating that it considered any Marines in the city "unwanted intruders." Seriously.

All this would lead you to believe that, wrong-headed as they may be, the Berkeley City Council wants to be all sugar and spice and everything nice. You might believe they stand up for human rights, and their hearts are in the right place. But you'd be wrong.

They're all for meddling in international issues, but when it comes to their own residents, they're actually pretty heartless.

According to the Bay View Newspaper, "On July 15, 2009 the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty listed Berkeley as the 10th meanest city across the nation for the homeless to reside in."

Even as far back as 1998, the Berkeley City Council had it in for its residents. In an attempt to fight public nudity (a real problem), "On Tuesday, June 9, 1998, the Berkeley City Council will consider eliminating the right to trial by jury and a repeal of the city's obligation to respect constitutional rights."

So, the Berkeley City Council hates Marines, supports espionage against the United States, thinks it's its own nation state, doesn't like gas stations, hates its own homeless, and tried to repeal constitutional rights.

In this climate, is it any wonder that the Berkeley City Council is trying to pass a resolution to honor alleged Wikileaks traitor Bradley Manning as a hero?

Is it any wonder that Russian state television loves this idea?

Russian President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is apparently having a ball with the Wikileaks controversy and decided to stick his own two cents into the discussion. Last week, he suggested that Wikileaks' Julian Assange be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize.

Of course, if Assange had leaked documents of concern to the Russian Federation, Medvedev would have probably simply tried to "disappear" the sucker, but since Assange has become America's problem, Crazy Ivan is laughing himself silly.

This whole Berkeley/Russia/Wikileaks thing came to my attention last week, when I was asked to appear on Russian state television, Russia Today, to debate a very nice but very delusional man from Berkeley about the whole Wikileaks/Manning thing.

I was curious, so I agreed to go on the air.

What fascinated and disturbed me was just how large the anti-American television operation is that Russia operates from within the United States. They have a fully-working television studio in Washington, along with satellite studios in various major cities.

Even more disturbing, Russia Today has Americans, former network news anchors, anchoring the English-language programs being broadcast in over 100 countries spread over five continents via cable, satellite, and online streaming free from the RT website -- and even YouTube.

In any case, you can watch me defend America's position in the YouTube clip at the top of this article. You can also watch Berkeley's Courage to Resist Project Director Jeff Paterson side with Medvedev in his desire to nominate the traitor Manning as a hero in Berkeley's eyes.

Ah, Berkeley. No American city is more conflicted.

It receives a tremendous amount of money from the U.S. government for all the University of California research resources, a metric ton of tax dollars from American citizens, and still, Berkeley so very much wants to bite the hand that feeds it.

I do miss Berkeley for the food. But I don't miss the twisted, nasty, oppressive, fake-liberalism-bordering-on-commie-worship attitude that has consistently come out of the city's governing wackjobs for all these many years.

Oh, well. I guess I'll never sit on the Berkeley City Council. That sits just fine with me.

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Topics: Hardware, Mobility

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Berkeley does this because they feel

    it makes them look smarter then everyone else, while not actually having to be smarter then everyone else.
    I know a couple of freinds who moved away from there, tired of being laughed at, I suppose.
    John Zern
    • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

      @John Zern
      [i]In 2009, Berkeley agreed to the United Nation?s international human rights treaties, despite the fact that the UN doesn?t recognize Berkeley as, well, anything. On the same night, Berkeley also agreed to raise parking fees, but they tend to do that pretty much all the time.[/i]
      Only some crazy liberal idiots agree with United Nation?s international human rights treaties and raise taxes on its citizens....pretty much like Obama.
      Linux Geek
  • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

    Dear Mr. Gewirtz :

    Is the irony of having Russia (you know, home of the KGB, Stalin and the Gulag) lecturing America ("God's Chosen Country Bringing 'Freedom' To The Rest Of The World Whether Or Not The World Wants It"), about freedom of the press, not obvious to you?

    We are seeing Soviet-style chutzpah out of today's America, everything from the witch hunt against Assange and Wikileaks (who, let us not forget, have done nothing that the New York Times hasn't) to the farcical announcement, delivered with a straight face, by the State Department (the same one that wants Assange imprisoned for showing America's dirty laundry to the world) that it will be hosting "World Press Freedom Day", in 2011.

    You know, Mr. Gewirtz, the rest of the world is alternately enraged at and / or (ghoulishly) amused by the childish antics of America's monolithic, conservative, authoritarian ruling class, as it fulminates against Assange for his temerity in actually DOING "freedom of the press", as distinct from the norm in the modern-day U.S., namely, "talking a good show about 'press freedom' and then self-censoring at the slightest show of displeasure from the likes of Senator "Tail Gunner Joe" Lieberman.

    Your impotent rage at Assange and his tiny whistle-blowing organization just makes you look like a has-been bully nation that can no longer (thank God) enforce its parochial, ignorant stupidity on the rest of the world.

    Listen closely to the overseas news services, and you can hear us laughing.

    A Non-American
    AngerNotManaged
    • ah yes, just another outsider

      that believes he knows what the world thinks about the US while pretending he even knows anything about the US too.

      your pretty stupid if you think we don't receive overseas news services, (what we don't have technology here?) we do and we don't see people laughing, though we do hear the envy coming from your posts.

      fix the massive problems that your own country created - dont waste your time trying to hide yourself from that truth by ranting about the US because in the end your problems are still there.
      Ron Bergundy
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @cyberspammer2

        No you don't receive overseas news as any other nationality visiting the US realises. You may have the technology but it stops at Fox News. A large amount of Americans seems to only be able to function by the use of hate words and a common enemy. It used to be commies, now its socialists.

        The rest of the world is fine and in Australia (that's the big island not the place in Europe), the GFC was not even like a mild flu. There's a lot to like about American culture and especially software and hardware, but education and health care aren't in the list.

        Those that can't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But first you have to teach real history ;-)
        tonymcs@...
      • outsiders??

        @cyberspammer2 As an 'outsider' I see a very different news feed that is not even seen in the US. Fox news, the bread and butter news for the US masses is unbeleivable (remember the attack Iraq mantra?) and dagerous. Ever wonder why the US is no longer admired beyond the US border? Look at the mess it created in Cambodia, Viet Nam etc as well as the mess it got itself into in Iraq and Afghanistan. When will it stop?
        Bradish@...
    • Well said (nt)

      @AngerNotManaged

      nt
      Economister
    • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

      @AngerNotManaged <br><br>So who paid the price for your freedom? Most likely an American soldier. Try not to bite the hand that kept you free!!
      jakenhauser23
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @jakenhauser23
        American soldiers don't bring freedom to the world, as you imply. They only bring death, misery, dictatorship regimes & puppets governments vassals of USA interests.
        theo_durcan
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @jakenhauser23 You mean like the same American soldier that paid with their life for fabricated garbage like the Gulf of Tonkin that got us into Vietnam and cost thousands of lives?<br><br>The same American soldiers who died as a result of knowledge that Pearl Harbor was going to happen but nothing was done to stop it?<br><br>The same American soldiers who died as a result of false intel about WMDs in Iraq?<br><br>Stop waving your flag for this sorry nation. It's corrupt to the core and no one at the top really cares anymore.
        cyberslammer2
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @jakenhauser23

        No our soldiers died alongside American soldiers in every stupid war you dragged us into. They still are.
        tonymcs@...
      • paid the price

        @jakenhauser23 You need to read up on history my friend. The US soldier did not save the world. You were Johnny come lately in WWII and you left in defeat in VN. Afghanistan will be the next panicked departure, exactly like the Russians (and British...did you know that?)
        Bradish@...
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @jakenhauser23
        and the first world war started in 1914, the second in 1939.
        Oh well better late than never I suppose. BTW charged enough for lend/lease though
        Dr BobM
    • We're actually laughing at Italy right now

      @AngerNotManaged, with all the peacfull demonstration going on at the moment... :)
      John Zern
  • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

    Let us not forget that the information this knucklehead gave to Wikileaks was NOT I repeat NOT free information. It was classified, the man is a traitor to everyone who has and still serves this nation's defense.
    jakenhauser23
    • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

      @jakenhauser23 Of course the information wasn't "free." Do you remember the Pentagon Papers? Those certainly were classified, but they revealed the fundamental lies that the government was telling about the Vietnam war. It then generated massive protest across the country, ending it. Daniel Ellsberg risked himself because he knew that the information wasn't free and had to be shown to the public. It's the same with the Afghanistan and Iraqi war logs, as well as the cables. I have the feeling that you think our leaders are as idealistic and righteous as you are.

      Nation's defense: What are we defending against? Are defending against Islamic fundamentalists? If so, then why are we Saudi Arabia's buddy? It is a one family dictatorship that we keep in power because they have lots of oil. (Chomsky)

      What are we doing in Iraq? As you know, I hope, there were no WMDs and al-Qaeda didn't train there. We deposed Saddam Hussein? We supported him with billions of dollars and arms, right through the time he gassed his own people! Then several years later, we turn around and act high and mighty with the UN, condemning him for this crime. Why we didn't we admit our role in it?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzeZMxJlEdA

      Are we defending against Iran? Our leaders say that most in the Arab world see Iran as a threat, but look at the Brookings Institution poll of Arab public opinion:

      http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx

      Most in the Arab world think the US and Israel are the biggest threat in the Middle east region (77% and 80%,) but only 10% think Iran is a threat. 57%, the majority, of Arabs think that a nuclear Iran would have a positive effect on the region.

      It means that when our leaders, H. Clinton, etc., say that most in the Arab world see Iran is a threat, they mean the Arab dictators. Most in the Arab world means the Arab dictators. Who cares what the people think. Surely, our leaders know of these polls.

      http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/30/noam_chomsky_wikileaks_cables_reveal_profound

      Our army, whose soldiers enlisted either for idealism, economic necessity, or what, have been manipulated into being the thugs of the ruling elite. Not only Washington, but the corporations that pretty much rule it, too. The alleged leaker likely will save many more lives than endanger them, if any, by leaking these documents. It still might not be enough to generate sufficient protest, but we'll see.

      An American citizen
      eofdg
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @eofdg your post is very disturbing.
        Althoug I agree that the warm US-Saudi relationship is, to say the least, inexplicable, to use Chomsky, a great lunatic, as a source is a very bad option.
        And to say that "only 10% of Arab World think Iran is a threat" and "57%, the majority, of Arabs think that a nuclear Iran would have a positive effect on the region." shows how do you think. You are bypassing the FACT that NO country in the Arab world is a democracy, so how would you ponder those figures?

        A freedom lover
        elzeide
      • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

        @elzeide

        First, a personal attack is not an argument. Calling Chomsky a lunatic is a personal attack. If you want to prove these claims wrong, you will have to attack the claims, not the person saying them. Have you read what Chomsky has written? Have you looked at his sources?

        If you had clicked the link, you would have seen that the numbers I gave, which you repeated, are not my opinion. They were presented by the Brookings Institute, a well-respected Washington thinktank, which has been around since 1916. It conducted a poll of Arab opinion just this past summer, which it released just a few months ago. The PDF file is there. The numbers are under Iran and World View. Just look.

        I don't think our relationship with Saudi Arabia is inexplicable. Like I said, it concerns oil. Our leaders were frank about it. A 1945 State Department memo states it clearly. Saudi Arabia, which had the bulk of the oil in the gulf region, is "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history." Google this sentence and you will find it on several sites. If you look on Google books, you will find it there, too. The source of it is:

        Foreign Relations of the United States, vol. 8 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1945) Volume 8, p. 45.

        A citation is from here: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa046.html

        Disclosure: I learned about this quote from reading Chomsky, who cites this in several of his writings.

        "You are bypassing the FACT that NO country in the Arab world is a democracy, so how would you ponder those figures?"

        I think you should reread what I wrote. By calling the Arab leaders dictators I'm acknowledging that these countries are not democracies. The figures are poll results. I didn't make them up. If you want to know an interpretation, which I think is reasonable, one is that they feel threatened by US imperialism and think that a nuclear armed Iran would be a deterrent.
        eofdg
    • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

      @jakenhauser23
      get a clue. How an Australian can be a traitor to USA? From the dictionary:
      1. a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.
      2. a person who commits treason by betraying his or her country.
      So when H. Clinton & American diplomats spy & take personal data from they allies counterparts, they are traitors according to point 1. But Assange is not, he never established any trust bound with American government, or Pfizer. He is not betraying them.
      theo_durcan
    • RE: Russia (and Berkeley) want to honor Wikileaks. I don't.

      @jakenhauser23 If it saves lives from falsehoods and lies perpetrated by this false flag government that's been running since 9-11 then I say bravo, well done.
      cyberslammer2