The True Face of Power, and Power’s Mask Made Ridiculous

Glenn Greenwald tweeted:

Anyone who can get through this Press Release without cackling very audibly has stronger self-discipline than I do: http://is.gd/ilMGC

Upon clicking, I immediately guffawed, because it’s a press release from the US State Department:

U.S. to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

Oh yes, and it gets better (sarcastic emphasis added):

New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

Today, of all days? The level of hypocrisy is inexpressable. As is the level of arrogance. Today of all black days, the US State Department releases this press release.

One can only laugh—at them.

The face of the State they want you to see celebrates itself, preens and postures, self-congratulates and claims patronizing “concern” for the oppressed. “Freedom” is here only an absurd advertisement—only an empty word.

Meanwhile, the State—the political class of rulers, their friends and bootlickers—oppress those who exercise freedom. They cast freedom of speech aside without a single hearing. They call for the silencing or murder of a journalist and publisher whose offense is telling the truth, who is today a political prisoner held without bail on laughable charges, while Wikileaks has been hounded and attacked at every turn despite legal protection under the first Amendment in America.

The true face of the State is that of thousands of petty tyrants who threaten and censor anyone who exposes their incompetence, corruption, and narcissism, their scandals and genuine contempt for life and freedom for all those outside of the privileged and political class.

The comparison between the face and the mask is stark and grotesque.

They think the world can be fooled forever. But the joke is on them, because the world is seeing behind that mask. Julian Assange has risked himself so you will see that true face. Never forget.

Here’s the face we demand to see again, free, alive, and well:

Free Assange

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